Secret CIO

Secret CIO is stunned to find that he no longer is one.

Tags: RedundancyUnited Arab Emirates
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By  Secret CIO Published  October 25, 2009 Arabian Computer News Logo

It all seemed so easy. I had everything worked out. After last month's meeting with a friendly CIO, I had worked out a grand plan to carve out my own niche organisation-within-an-organisation. It was virtually foolproof - outsource virtually every job, then for those remaining unfortunate staff, occupy them with some mindless task such as ERP that would keep them busy for at least 20 years.

My mind was brimming with possibilities as I walked through the foyer of my building. With less staff, I wouldn't need all these expensive wall fittings, leaving the walls free for me to indulge in my amateur finger-painting obsession. And with only me and a skeleton crew, there'd be no need for so many overhead lights, so I could erect a permanent shadow puppet stage near the HR office. As a matter of fact, the second-storey railing near my office would make a great place to erect a plinth for me to perch on, Batman-style, and gothically loom over my terrified co-workers.

As I said, the possibilities were endless. Note the use of the past-tense word ‘were', however, because that gives you a very healthy indicator for what really happened. My first clue for what was about to transpire quite literally struck me on the head when I entered the IT department. The object - which left a good-sized dent, if any of you are bothered about my health - turned out to be my door plaque, and had been turned into a makeshift javelin by my IT security manager, who was trying to hit my face on a dartboard on the door I just walked through.

"What are you playing at?" I shouted, as I clutched my forehead in pain.

"What are you doing back here?" he inquired (rather rudely, I thought at the time).

"Back here? You know I work here, which is what you won't be doing in the next ten minutes," I bellowed back in reply.

He seemed strangely nonplussed by his immediate sacking, and with a dismissive jerk of his thumb motioned towards my office. Practically purple with rage, I strode with my most purposeful walk into my tower of power - only to trip over my golf trophy lying on the floor. My landing was quite an exercise in pain as I was impaled on a CIO award that I received from some magazine or the other - CAN or something, I think.

My deputy CIO peered over at me over the edge of the desk where he was seated.

"Is that how you normally enter an office?" he asked, disapprovingly.

"Is that where you're supposed to sit?" I fired back, pulling myself painfully upright.

"It is now. You've been made redundant, mate," he replied coldly.

Alas, it was all too true. I discovered that while I had been busy trying to find ways to cut costs and promote a feel-good image, my deputy CIO had all too been efficient at actually doing so. While I was out and about doing my best to dispel all doom and gloom, it turns out that we were actually doing rather well and have been able to complete a good number of projects on time and under budget - with the net result that there's more money on the table as well.

All of this was of course news to me - mainly because I rarely browse the reports section of our BI platform, preferring to spend most of my time checking out photos of the new female hires on our CRM. And when the deputy CIO presented his report to the CFO (while I was undercover elsewhere) his decision to cut costs even further was all too easy. As a matter of fact, it was so simple that I was suspicious of the whole thing and wondered whether this might not be the sinister beginnings of an elaborate plot, alas it wasn't.

To quote Everett McGill in the Coen classic, ‘O Brother Where Art Thou', I was most definitely in a tight spot. Would I now venture in the treacherous quicksand of the open market? Or (more likely), would I go to the chairman's office and grovel instead?

The answer, next month.

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