First in the frame: finance

One of our contributors has been heard only too often bemoaning the role of procurement or financial departments as part of their work-related headache. They were working as a consultant at the time, an external resource, plus we imagine quite an expensive addition to the team bearing in mind his professional experience, the great rapport they had built up with the client-facing agency team aside, it was the financial director they frequently battled with.

Cost proposals for new business never passed the beady Orc-ish eyes of the financial controller without being drastically slashed, criticised and reduced, regardless of the actual work being scoped out because, essentially, there was not even the faintest whiff of a possibility the consultant’s work could have a higher value than the permanent staff. There is another story here for another blog about the inability of some agencies to understand new and powerful forces in the world of communications, sweeping up all other, more traditional, channels before it. Sadly our man represented the only bastion of said “black magic” forces of the unknown within the agency, the very thing he was hired to strategise and educate on, and therefore was always treated with mistrust and kept at arms’ length so as not to pollute the pure waters of the old and slowly drying well.

Our dear consultant, having agreed certain working arrangements with the managing director, had to face several obstacles because of this increasingly fraught relationship. Surely not because our hero  was the pinkiest of whites you had ever seen in Mordor, pitted against one of the more sophisticated Orc-like chaps, akin to the dwarf guarding his wealth in the mountain, who had taken up the role of financial guardian? We at the Downtown Mordor blog very much doubt this was the case, but one never knows in this unbalanced and unhinged environment we occasionally find ourselves struggling in. There must be more to this than skin colour and a passport lottery, surely? The fact of the matter is that this friendliest of Orcs forced our gallant warrior to remove his previously-agreed weekly “surgery hours” in favour of precise, project-based Excelified timesheets to justify his limited attachment to the agency. Costs were duly reduced to great cheer from the accountant, but what were the real costs? Our consultant spent less time in the agency and therefore his expertise were called upon less and less, his work becoming increasingly marginalised.

All in all a difficult situation was created by the penny-pinching Orc; our chap could now only feast on what he was fed rather than helping himself to the bounteous low-hanging fruits of information and opportunities he used to pick up by being physically present in-agency. This is ultimately the agency’s loss. And now, we hear, our dear consultant will shortly wave goodbye to those gathering around the dusty well in favour of a more lustrous and vibrant gushing waterfall and pastures new, away from that place we now refer to as Mordor.

Good luck to him! But how about you? Contact us with your personal Mordor tales, where mindless short term decisions from your Orc-ish colleagues have impacted your working life for the worse. We are truly sorry to hear from you, but hope that your problem shared will a problem halved.

Image kindly supplied via, taken by Stephanie Ecate


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