tree guard

a confession - does anybody remember the "tree guard" at Brompton??
it came about in 1989ish because the saplings on the square got wrecked one night, and the YO's got blamed for it..
well it was me and l/cpl P*** R*** from 59 wot did it..the funniest thing is, the next morning we all moved to Chattenden bks, so we never actually had to do the guard that we started!!!!!!
I do remember pi55ing against them trees and being chased off by the Ordelry Officer.

I did do mirror guard though after someone broke a mirror in the ablutions. That was in No.2s as well!!
One role after leaving the Forces in 1996 was a principal consultant (and I could tell some stories about the company, mainly ex-officers...)

Anyway, probably the most important aspect of consulting is understanding the clients needs and culture, consequently I asked "why" a lot. After this, I moved in telecoms management, and encouraged the same of all my people and Team Leaders (hang on, I'm getting there!).

The most common response to asking why a particular task was done, or done in a certain way, was "because we've always done it". Which I detest.

Anyway, people would always ask why I asked "why" so often, so I'd tell the following tale:

"Once upon a time, there was a princess who wanted to grow an acorn into a tree. She planted an acorn, and watered it each day. Soon, there was a green shoot coming up. But she was worried that someone might not see the shoot, and trample it. So she asked her father, the King, for some help. He detailed one of the Palace soldiers to stand guard over the young shoot, day and night, to ensure it could grow. The seasons passed, the shoot turned to a sapling, and the guard ensured it grew unmolested. The years passed, and the sapling grew into a large, blooming oak. And 400 years later, day and night, there is a still squaddy stood bored rigid underneath it guarding the tree, for no known reason other than "its always been done'."

Most people get the message then.

But - and sorry for the digression - it has its uses. A few years ago I took over a global network management centre. As familiarisation, I spent a day in each role, so I was aware of the issues my teams faced. Imagine my suprise to find my 1st line call logging team logged all incoming calls - ALL incomming calls - in a computer trouble ticket system, and then logged on a sheet of paper. At the end of the day, the team leader tallied the sheets, and then the weekly sheets every friday. This halved my call handling capacity, and took about 12 hours of her working week. And when I asked why... "we've always done it".

So applied sapper rule No 1: stop doing it and see who screams. No one.

Anyway, let you all get back to your hot cocoa and slippers :)
Si dont let Phil Hogshead know at Gravesend as it seriously ruined his social life for a couple of weeks on his P& F the way that shirt last week was socially brash.
Floureat Jerboa T

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