The Story of Johnny

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Johnny was born to an upper middle income family in 1982. By the time Johnny entered school administrators only cared about children passing standardized multiple choice tests.  Johnny was smart but never encouraged to read, study history or think critically.  Johnny soon got addicted to video games to pass the time.  The time Johnny entered college in 2000 he was also addicted to Internet porn and as social websites developed sites like Myspace then FB.


In 2005 Johnny got a job in Finance.  Johnny spent his days cranking out Excel spreadsheets.  Never was he challenged to think, make decisions, lead; just crank out spreadsheets which he did very easily.  To pass the time Johnny played video games, looked at porn and surfed FB, which his employers seemed not to notice and not to care.


Despite having limited skills by 2012 Johnny was promoted to a very young CFO. His superiors mistook his Excel skills for something of substance.  Johnny decided to hire a Finance Manager to help him but rather than hire someone with experience he hired another 20 something to crank out Excel spreadsheets.  Johnny simply relied about what the spreadsheet said in order to make decisions.  However, Johnny was well over his head.  He didn't know the difference between the Federal Reserve and Federal Express and thought fiat currency was the cash somebody used to buy a Fiat automobile. Working capital, what's that?  Cash flow?  No clue.  Johnny couldn't write a coherent email to save his life.  He sat with his door closed most of the day looking at Internet porn and playing video games.


The Company began to suffer financially as decisions by spreadsheets only proved fatal.  So Johnny did what all other senior managers did, he fired lots of people to cut costs.  The Board of Directors thought Johnny a proven manager making all these "hard" decisions and awarded Johnny millions in pay and bonus.


Still, by 2017 Johnny had run the Company into the ground and it declared bankruptcy. Johnny agreed to stick around to help sell off assets and wind down operations collecting a cool $2 million in doing so.


Afterwards with millions in the bank Johnny decided to take an African Safari.  On the way to the airport Johnny saw his former Company's Sales Director, a man in his mid 50s, begging for money at a traffic light.   Johnny wondered why the man was not re-employed and begging for change instead.  Johnny put the plight of the man he fired right out of his mind.  He was off to lions, tigers and elephants.


On the Safari Johnny was told by the guide not to get to close to the animals.  But Johnny refused to listen.  As a result Johnny was mulled by a tiger while a venomous snake was biting down on his Johnny's exposed leg,


Johnny's widow a 22 year old stripper, Kittens, got the bulk of Johnny's $10 million estate.  She quit her job at the Tits and Ale and took up classical reading and history. She later being a famous blogger writing about current events and changes in society.  She was seen as the modern Dear Abby of the 21st century.  Despite her 10th grade education her self published book, "The Ails of Society and Autocratic Decision Making" shot up to number one on the New York Times selling list.  She think back to when Johnny used to tell her that she was only good because of her fake boobs.


Stone-Eater Added Mar 5, 2017 - 2:39pm
Boah. Everything that can go wrong in one article ;-)
Brains ? Sorry, not on sale. Come back Friday, if you can remember.
wsucram15 Added Mar 5, 2017 - 2:53pm
George..that was a good story, you always make me wonder though. hmmmmm...
Stone-Eater Added Mar 5, 2017 - 3:06pm
Seems somewhat autobiographic....
Jeff Jackson Added Mar 5, 2017 - 4:06pm
I believe that the names were changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Not just offering advice here, but the Sales Manager should have stored a lot of the evidence (on Excel sheets) of Johnny's lunacy and presented it when things started going bad. I don't know if it would have made a difference, but I have written some blistering memos while in corporate America, pointing out the stupidity of certain moves. While that got resentment, there were times when they actually listened, and said that it made sense.
There was the scion of one of the multimillionaire founder/owners that was given his own division, as if he knew how to run a division. He finally, after numerous failures as well as not listening to the experienced managers on why his division was failing, was relieved of the division and it was shut down. Not that it was a bad idea, it was just that the scion had no managerial experience and could not make the division function, but if he couldn't run it, no one else was going to be given the opportunity. Lost money. It looked good on paper. It was, well, you know, one of those people who don't need to listen to anyone. It was all in the computer, but he couldn't make heads or tails out of what information was in the computer. No critical thinking skills. No problem solving skills. When I looked in the computer I saw solutions
George N Romey Added Mar 5, 2017 - 4:28pm
Jeff this is a combination of people I've dealt with over the past years. What I find is that disagreeable, unworkable people tend to hide behind spreadsheets never wanting to soil themselves with the nitty gritty of the business.  One problem I see is that technology blurs the line between the inferior and the superior.  Also when people hit that C level they can easily deflect really good and needed criticism.  This goes back to a very good thread by Shane about sore losers.
A real leader and person mans (or womans) up when they make a mistake. They correct, apologize and move on.  Time and time again its been shown that data driven only decisions without clear business acumen and experience are horrible, if not terminal. 
Patrick Writes Added Mar 5, 2017 - 7:08pm
I think questionable data points should be graphed and presented to executives to make decisions in all cases. Then the executive can simply say 'the graph told me to'. The problem isn't the graph or the I.T. folks who (necessarily) created it but the questionable data points to begin with which any non-technical idiot could have identified before the downward spiral even started. 
What data is easy to collect and graph? Costs, especially payroll costs.
What's not easy to collect and graph? Loss of productivity because of 'doing more with less', outsourced jobs, increased neighborhood crime which leads the necessity of security guards, cameras, etc... Loss of quality in products, lack of innovation, all this is hard to capture and measure. So nobody measures it. 
Only the easy stuff makes into the graph (sales numbers, stock price, assets, costs--especially payroll costs). 
Patrick Writes Added Mar 5, 2017 - 7:12pm
I heard an extremely smart guy tell me once that Excel should be banned because 99% of people don't know how to use to properly (to round calculations properly--at the end--, or simply misuse complex calc's to get a result that's not true).
Dino Manalis Added Mar 5, 2017 - 7:17pm
Standardized testing should be limited, while quizzes ought to be routine, almost daily, to test whether students are learning and reading.  
Mircea Negres Added Mar 6, 2017 - 3:02am
A lot of people see figures all day and wind up thinking the world is made of numbers. It's this separation which leads to ill-considered and aberrant (not to mention abhorrent) behavior that first destroys lives, then businesses. There is a life beyond PowerPoint and Excel spreadsheets, and yes, wildlife will tear an appendage off- it actually happened at a reserve outside Port Elizabeth, where a tourist got mangled by a cheetah. Strangely enough, they were talking about killing the cheetah instead of fining the dumb tourist. Maybe the old story about the scorpion and the frog ought to be made mandatory reading...
Doug Plumb Added Mar 6, 2017 - 4:50am
I remember being in university and hearing a few people saying things like "never apologize, never admit fault". I could not imagine someone saying that in high school.
Mircea Negres Added Mar 6, 2017 - 4:53am
Doug, it's also the first thing they say about leadership to candidate officers at Sandhurst military academy, from what I know.
Mircea Negres Added Mar 6, 2017 - 4:55am
Fat lot of good that does to the men when their officer is an idiot who gets them killed and then lacks the decency to acknowledge his culpability to their families.
Mircea Negres Added Mar 6, 2017 - 8:27am
Here's a South African joke about "little Johnny":
"One day during Afrikaans class, the teacher tells the students to make up a sentence, then deliver it in front of the class. One by one they take their turn, until it gets to Johnny. The boy walks proudly to the front of the class and says "my oom staan op die kaap Agulhas en die water kom op tot sy balles" (my uncle is standing on Cape Agulhas and the water comes up to his balls). The teacher turns livid and yells "Johnny, shame on you, how can you say that? Out, out, out! Get out of the class, you and I will go see the principal after the lesson!"
Johnny waits outside patiently and as promised, the teacher drags him off to the principal's office. Once there, the teacher orders Johnny to say what he told the class, so once again Johnny stands and says "my oom staan op die kaap Agulhas en die water kom op tot sy knie" (my uncle is standing on the Cape Agulhas and the water comes up to his knees). The teacher says, "But Johnny, that's not what you said earlier"! Without skipping a beat, Johnny replies with a smile on his face "Sorry missus, but it's low tide now..." 
George N Romey Added Mar 6, 2017 - 8:43am
Good one Micrea.
Jeff Jackson Added Mar 6, 2017 - 12:36pm
Met plenty of those managers who really wrecked things, and many of them never acknowledged the huge mess they made.