Thursday, 3 June 2010

This is Evil

From the OSS SIMPLE SABOTAGE FIELD MANUAL (circa 1943)
5.b.1.b.2
Forget to provide paper in toilets;...
You Bastards!

Other evil bastardry:
5.b.6 Transportation: Railways
(a) Passengers
(1.) Make train travel as inconvenient as possible for enemy personnel. Make mistakes in issuing train tickets, leaving portions of the journey uncovered by the ticket book; issue two tickets for the same seat in the train, so that an interesting argument will result; near train time, instead of issuing printed tickets write them out slowly by hand, prolonging the process until the train is nearly ready to leave or has left the station. On station bulletin boards announcing train arrivals and departures, see that false and misleading information is given about trains bound for enemy destinations.
(2) In trains bound for enemy destinations, attendants should make life as uncomfortable as possible for passengers. See that the food is especially bad, take up tickets after midnight, call all station stops very loudly during the night, handle baggage as noisily as possible during the night, and so on.
(3)See that the luggage of enemy personnel is mislaid or unloaded at the wrong stations. Switch address labels on enemy baggage.
(4)Engineers should see that trains run slow or make unscheduled stops for plausible reasons.
OK, who are we at war with?
5.b.11 General Interference with Organisations and Production
(a)Organizations and Conferences
(1) Insist on doing everything through "channels." Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
(2) Make "speeches." Talk as frequently as possible and at great length. Illustrate your "points" by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate "patriotic" comments.
(3)When possible, refer all matters to committees, for "further study and consideration." Attempt to make the committees as large as possible — never less than five.
(4)Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
(5)Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
(6)Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
(7)Advocate "caution." Be "reasonable" and urge your fellow-conferees to be "reasonable" and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
(8)Be worried about the propriety of any decision — raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.
(b)Managers and Supervisors
(1) Demand written orders.
(2) "Misunderstand" orders. Ask endless questions or engage in long correspondence about such orders. Quibble over them when you can....
I say again, who are we at war with?

6 comments:

Hazumu Osaragi said...

"Petronius Arbiter"

Anonymous said...

Now I understand.
All the bueracrats I have had to deal with over the years are working under the operating assumption that I am the enemy!

Zoe Brain said...

Alas, a search of the Satyricon shows the attribution of the quote to be false.

Falsely attributed to Gaius Petronius Arbiter. Quote is from Charlton Ogburn, Jr. (1911-1998), in Harper's Magazine, "Merrill's Marauders: The truth about an incredible adventure" (Jan 1957)

The quote - for those who don't instantly recognise the reference - is:
"We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization."

valued said...

That's why I put the name in quotes (^v^)

That the attribution given is false doesn't make the quote any less illuminating.

Hazumu Osaragi said...

Dang! too many google idents!

wreckage said...

People don't believe that over-reach by environmental and work safety legislation costs billions each year. They also don't believe that it might be necessary to fire someone because they're a jerk.