"From time to time in the execution of Project Phoenix", said the email, "it's necessary for the Planning and Administration Department to form an definitive view"
Well, now, I work on Project Phoenix, and I can confirm entirely without equivocation that, from time time, it is indeed necessary for the Planning and Administration Dept to form a definitive view. Oh yes indeedy: it most certainly is.
So, I unplugged my mp3, shut down my browser and paid attention.
"Accordingly, the purpose of this email is to confirm that within the context of Project Phoenix George Dylan will act, when needed, as the official voice of PAD"
Naturally I picked up the phone and called George directly. "Congratulations, George, and all that... and I have a question: How will we know, George, on any particular occasion, whether you are speaking with your official voice, or whether you are just making up as you go along like you normally do?"
Mind, I wasn't being flippant, for the official voice is a very subtle and important concept.
Here is Oswald Bates on this very subject, as he confronts his corporate nemesis...
(The relevant bit for this post from 2:30 to 2:50, but trust me: if you watch the whole 5 minutes you won't regret it)
(From Stephen Polliakoff's timeless and extraordinary drama Shooting the Past)
And here is Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) who can recognise the 'voice' when he hears it.
You see: very often in the corporate world it is exactly the case that for the truth to heard it must be spoken in the right voice, at the right time, and by the right person. Get it right and you're a guru, a truthsayer, a seer and a leader of men. But time it wrong, phrase it wrong, use the wrong voice and you're a trouble maker. Oswald is a trouble maker - an entirely correct trouble maker - who knows he is right and even knows about the 'voice' but yet he doesn't have it.
Neither does poor George
"Don't be silly, Alibert" he told me, "are you expecting me to speak more deeply? Ha Ha, no, of course not, you'll know because of WHAT I am saying, not the manner in which I say it".
Of course we will, George.
Over in Brussels this week an obscure MEP called Daniel Hannan in a quite brilliant three minute speech absolutely speared Gordon Brown who I don't think has experienced anyone speaking to him like this for years.
This video went viral and was the most-watched video on YouTube on Wednesday..
It isn't even anything new: we've heard it before and we all know it to be true, but this is first time we have heard it said in a the right voice..
Who thought oratory was dead?