The Fall of Lucifer : A Management Spoof in Six Acts

Ministhy Dileep | December 06,2010 12:52 pm IST

This is about favorite young "heroes" of management becoming fallen Lucifers..

In Management Analogy, Dr.George Odiorne* has classified this under the change of " Stars" with high potential and high performance into " Problem Children" of low performance and high potential.


Act One: The Star

Cast/Dramatis Personae: Young Trainee, Manager
Scenario: Performance Appraisal Meeting - Manager's Cubicle
Time: When Lucifer was in Heaven
Lighting: Perfect


Manager: So, what rating do you want for Leadership? (Smiles benignly)
Trainee: Oh, I leave it to you to decide, sir. (This is still a hierarchical organization where God prefers to be called sir)
Manager: Well, I think (Smiles like Amitabh Bachhan in KBC) you deserve Excellent.
Trainee: Oh, thank you sir! (Tears in his eyes)

Background Music: Nursery rhyme
"Curly hair, very fair,
Teacher's pet, Is that you?"


Act Two: The Cup That Drains'

Cast/Dramatis Personae: Young Trainee, CEO
Scenario: CEO's chambers
Time: When Lucifer was still in Heaven - not knowing that the earth was about to move
Lighting: Less than Perfect

CEO: So, I hear that you are doing very well! I have a very important assignment for you!
Trainee: That is great news sir!
CEO: I want you to supervise the installation of the new ladder to earth. I know you are not the technical kind but we don't have any one else to do it, you see.
Trainee: Sir, er! I don't have that kind of expertise. (Having seen a ladder only in nightmares)
CEO: I want you to do it - and remember, it is a very prestigious assignment - you have to send the proposal to me by tomorrow.

Background Music: Nursery rhyme
Ding dong, Bell, Pussy's in the well!
Who put her in?
Little Johnny Green.


Act Three: The Slide Down or the Overkill

Cast/Dramatis Personae: Young Trainee, Manager
Scenario: Meeting - Manager's Cubicle
Time: When Lucifer felt that g = 9.8m/second square
Lighting: Dark

Manager: I want the morale survey done by tomorrow.
Trainee: But Sir, the CEO's assignment. I have no idea how to start it.
Manager: Well, that is the top priority. However, my job is important too. I am sure you can do both if you balance your time and plan well. Plan! Young man! Plan! That is the secret of all success. Mind you, take care that my report is in Arial font 12.
Trainee: Yes, Sir. (Thinking of his five month old baby at home, the two assignments with the same deadline - one of which he has no guidance or preparedness for).

Background Music: Nursery rhyme
"This is the way we wash our hands,
Wash our hands, wash our hands,
On a cold and frosty morning."


Act Four: The Nervous  Wreck/The Workhorse

Cast/Dramatis Personae: Young Trainee, Wife, Baby
Scenario: Home
Time: Past midnight - after some weeks
Lighting: Very Dark

Wife: I wanted to take the kid to the hospital today - a slight fever.
Trainee: I am sorry, I couldn't come early. As it is, I have to start at 6 o'clock tomorrow. I am dreading the meetings.
Wife: Well, for the measly pay they give you, this overkill is too much. Could you not say that you couldn't do it?
Trainee: No, that would be suicidal.
Wife: As if this is any life! You go to bed by two o'clock and wake up sweating at four o'clock!

Background Music: Nursery rhyme
Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush,
On a cold and frosty morning.


Act Five: The Problem Child

Cast/Dramatis Personae: Young Trainee, Manager, CEO
Scenario: Meeting - CEO's Cubicle
Time: Lucifer feels the impending fall
Lighting: Dark

CEO: Good work on the proposal considering that this is the first time for you. So this project is going to be your baby.
Trainee: (Thinks of the neglected baby at home) Sir.
CEO: You might want to devote two hours per day for the assignment and the rest for your normal work.
Manager: Yes, that should be all right.
Trainee: (Who shudders at the obvious trap of squeezing the life out of him) Er...
CEO: Yes!
Trainee: I can't do it sir. I have no aptitude for this technical installation. I cannot take the full responsibility, sir, but I will contribute with my expertise in whatever way. As it is, I stay till ten every night with regular work alone.
(CEO and Manager looks eye to eye)

Background Music: Nursery rhyme
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall!


The Final Act:

Act Six: The Deadwood

Cast/Dramatis Personae: Young Trainee, Manager
Scenario: Meeting - Manager's Cubicle
Time: The Fall is complete
Lighting: Dark

Manager: I want the presentation slides to be redone. There are 105 slides.
Trainee: But Sir, I did it only yesterday.
Manager: Well, I want it redone again.
Manager (Picks up the phone): " St. Peter! I want to see the latest report on the ladder installation. Congratulations on the fine job you are doing."
(Puts the phone down and stares at Trainee)
Manager: Incidentally, it was highly irresponsible of you to put Ariel size 9 instead of 10 in my report.

Background Music: Nursery rhyme
"I hear thunder, I hear thunder,
Oh, do you? Oh, do you?"


Final Voice Over: Thus it was that in a span of three months from his excellent appraisal, Poor Lucifer fell, pathetically down. The management was seen feeding the cake of heaven to St.Peter and recruited a Lucifer substitute at twice Lucifer's pay and with half Lucifer's qualification. Posted him right next to Lucifer in the same designation.


Moral of the Story:
Management Version: Never say no to any assignments whether you are fit for it or not.
Lucifer's Version: I quit!

Application Learning: It is very easy to kill a Star - just overload his plate with the wrong assignments and judge him after that. For better finish, offer humiliating work.


Dr.George Odiorne-Famous for his Human Resources Portfolio which put into a matrix, Stars, Work horses, Problem Children and Dead wood (With potential and performance plotted on the axes).



Ministhy S. is PG (PM&IR) from XLRI-Jamshedpur, and currently, an IAS officer working in the UP cadre. She has written five books - 'Unequal Equations', 'Learning with Tippy Tortoise: Tales for Kids', 'Happy Birthday: Poems for Kids' and a novel published by Dronequill Publishers, Bangalore....