Justin thyme

Top 10 things a consultant shouldn’t tell a client

10. That was my first guess as well, but then I really thought about it.

9. You should see the hotel I’m staying at.

8. Hey, I just realised that I was in junior school when you started working here.

7. I like this office space. I’ll have them put me in here when you’re gone.

6. My rental car looks nicer than that junk you’re driving.

5. Sure it’ll work; I learned it in business school.

4. So what do you need me to tell you?

3. Of course it’s right; the spread sheet says so.

2. I could just tell you the answer, but we’re committed to a three-month project.

1. What are you, stupid?

Top 10 things you shouldn’t say at a consulting interview.

10. I’m a T-shirt and jeans kind of person.

9. Do you pay overtime?

8. I hate flying.

7. I’m useless without 10 hours of sleep a night.

6. There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

5. Do you cover rental cars for collision?

4. Stanford taught me that working in teams is great for slackers.

3. I think three letter acronyms are for people too stupid to remember whole phrases.

2. Two words: family first.

1. Call it what you want, it still means firing people.

Top 10 ways to know you’re dating/married to a consultant

10. Referred to the first month of your relationship as a “diagnostic period”.

9. Talks to the waiter about process flow when dinner arrives late.

8. Takes a half-day at the office because, “Sunday is your day”.

7. Congratulates your parents for successful value creation.

6. Tries to call room-service from the bedroom.

5. Ends any argument by saying, “let’s talk about this off-line.”

4. Celebrates anniversary by conducting a performance review.

3. Can’t be trusted with the car – too accustomed to beating up rentals.

2. Valentine’s Day card has bullet points.

1. Refers to lovemaking as a “win-win”.

Top 10 ways to know you’ve got the consulting bug

10. Can’t stop using words that don’t exist.

9. Worried that he who dies with the most frequent-flyer miles wins.

8. Use so much jargon in conversation, friends think you’re speaking a foreign language.

7. Constant urge to give advice on subjects you know nothing about.

6. Always-hyphenating-words-that-don’t-need-to-be-hyphenated.

5. Keep seeing bullet points everywhere.

4. Can fit the thematic undercurrents of War and Peace into a two-by-two matrix.

3. Tired of having a social life beyond work.

2. A two-page story in Business Week is all it takes to make you an expert.

1. Firmly believe that an objective viewpoint means more than any real work experience.

Holiday? It would be so nice!

Now that most consultants have returned to their desks after their summer hols, we can reveal that most of them were never away in the first place.

Seven out of 10 managers make sure that their office can contact them and four in 10 are in active contact while away, according to research conducted by The Institute of Management. Nearly half of bosses take work away with them as they shunt their tanning lotion to one side of their suitcase. The research also threw up some interesting holiday reading habits. The likes of Terry Pratchett, Bill Bryson and John Grisham do well, but head and shoulders above the rest of the scribes stands Tom Clancy, purveyor of hi-tech weaponry and high-level intrigue. The consultants interviewed would love to see themselves in the mould of world-leading, globe-trotting actioneers. The tuxedoed secret agents of change. Unfortunately they are unable to fulfil this role as it seems that they’re too busy recharging their laptop batteries.


Have you got a personal problem? Are you finding it difficult to juggle the demands of a career with the need for a home life? Are you starting to feel that it’s all too much for you? Isn’t this the time that you should sit down with your boss and discuss it in a mature manner? Not if you’re a member of Midland Bank’s staff. The company has just established a telephone helpline designed to help employees “achieve the optimum work/life balance”. The freephone number gives employees access to a “contact” in times of crisis. As one enlightened employee commented: “My adviser helped me to cope with what was a particularly distressing period in my life. Just knowing that I had someone to talk to who understood my problems and could offer practical advice was very reassuring.” Laudable though the service is, why aren’t Midland bosses helping to advise on “work/life balance” problems in person? We tried to contact them for comment, but their phones seemed to be constantly engaged.

Whistle-blowers apply here

Everyone harbours a little gossip, now and then. Tell us about it.

All contributions will be rewarded. Letters to Justin Thyme, Management Consultancy, VNU Business Publications, London W1A 2HG. All letters treated in the strictest confidence.

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