Strathie answers the rant line
The snag with modish phone-the-boss days is that, er, staff tend to phone in and give the top brass a hard time. HMRC chief exec Lesley Strathie learned this lesson the hard way recently, according to a transcript of a lively session sneaked out of HMRC HQ to TS.
First she got it in the neck over the HMRC board’s bonuses. Her response – ‘Gosh, I am glad I came to this department because the bonus pot is obviously a lot bigger than it was where I came from’ – did little to emoliate the disgruntled caller from an HMRC ‘processing centre’, where conditions and bonuses are thought to be less than lavish.
The woman brought in from the department for work and pensions for her management skills then really turned on the charm.
Phone steaming, the same chap asked Strathie to acknowledge how dis-chuffed her people were. Some chance. ‘Happiness is not one of my indicators. It is not my mission’, she confided. Which was at least honest.