Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Friday, 9 January 2009

Greed: it has powerful after-effects

Those affected by the financial crisis may be divided into three: those who brought it on themselves (banks, financial experts, tax dodgers and lazy-minded manufacturers), ordinary folk advised by experts and who got reamed (the majority of us) and those who did everything possible to avoid the situation (yet still got reamed). A word of sympathy for the latter group.

While I was still working my magazine carried a story researched by my assistant editor about Nissan’s UK operation. How different it seemed from so many British enterprises. A new factory with a parent prepared to accept losses for a decade, huge and continuing investment in technology and systems, management based on weekly if not daily consultation with the workforce, a reward for anyone whose suggestion helped improve efficiency, training that meant something and involvement in the local community.

Yesterday, Nissan UK laid off a quarter of its workforce. I’m gutted for all those who have suffered but as an observer of industry I’m particularly heart-slufted (a special angoisse experienced only in the West Riding) by this one. It’s enough for me to consider – at least for a nano-second – the possibility of compensation in an after-life.

WRITING: CRAFT NOT ART
Eclogue 27e. Distrust adjectives, adverbs, related phrases and excess.
Before: “Please, please,” she said in a voice that carried a note of entreaty, “reconsider your reckless driving and pull into that safe layby.”
After: “Stop!” she implored.
Note: Eclogue still misused.

2 comments:

Relucent Reader said...

It is always the little guy who receives the aggregate effect of an economic downturn.
I admire Nissan as well. I have owned one of their trucks built in Smyrna TN since 1989 (and 'Flakb8' still runs very well).Somehow I cannot see those good 'ol boys exercising before starting The Line and wearing those snappy white hats. Nissan's 6 cylinder engine is excellent. Nissan (back then, "Datsun") got a toehold in CA over 30 years ago by selling their small (4 cyl. then, wish they'd bring 'em back) pickups to the many Japanese gardeners -- word-of-mouth and sound business (and management) practices built on the initial success.
Enjoy your eclogues, misused or no. I find them helpful. May I request an eclogue on semi-colon use? I like and use 'em, though it seems they are endangered in the mainstream.

Barrett Bonden said...

RR: When Nissan opened their new plant (in Tyne and Wear, a deprived area in the north-east) they were still called Datsun. I too wondered about the British equivalent of the good ol' boys required to exercise, etc, but my impression is they took the company on trust and did so. I was glad to read your comment as a satisfied customer.

As to semi-colons, well... You're asking me to come up out of the trench wearing my officer's jodphurs, a Webley revolver attached to my belt, a map case dangling from my neck, and a swagger cane under my arm and walk straight into a cluster of machine-guns operated by what I suspect will turn out to be a huge group of the most opinionated linguistic SOBs on earth. Never mind, you once called one of my posts "clear and concise" so you're entitled to call in the debt.