Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Horsemeat Surprise

“So Liam, why not tell us in your own words.  We think we know what you’ve done but the how and the why are evading us” said Sergeant Palmer.  Liam Noble looked back at Palmer with a look of disdain in his eyes.
“Have you even bothered to read my mission statement?” he asked tersely.
“Mission Statement?” Palmer replied.  “Is it in amongst that pile of papers we recovered from your van?
“Yes, it’s there along with my Risk Register, Risk Assessments of each project and a Method Statement.  Put them all together Sergeant and you’ll have your how and why”.
“Ok but how about you talk me through them, and then I’ll make sure to go back and read them later to get the full picture.”
“Fair enough” replied Noble.  “I’ll start with the mission statement.  It’s what defines my current project.  Something punchy that sums it up in an easy sound bite.
“I will be the most professional serial killer this country has ever seen”.
“And that’s it?” Palmer asked.  “And how exactly are you going to achieve this professionalism?”
“This is where I shine” grinned Noble.  I’ve been taking an e-learning course in Project Management.  I’ve even got a recognised qualification.  My genius is to take sound business skills and apply them to me more esoteric hobby.”
“Esoteric Hobby?”
“Well the qualification is called MSP – Managing Successful Programmes.  But I’ve applied it to my hobby is MSP is now Murdering Simple People”
“Mmmmmmm Ok but how does that fit in with your actual job?  I mean you aren’t some high flying suit in the city.  You deliver groceries for Tesco”.
“But don’t you see Sergeant – it’s perfect.” “Nobody ever sees a grocery delivery man as a threat.  They want you to come to the door, they’ll actively engage you in conversation and if your lucks really in you can even take the groceries inside so you get a look at their gaff”
“Look, I spend hours practicing smiling in the mirror.  I’ve got that down pat.  I read books on body language so I’m always presenting a non-verbal message of “He’s a cuddly little bear who won’t hurt anyone”
“I even follow a CSI tech on twitter who tweets from that day’s crime scenes.  You’ve got to get all the tips you can if you want to be the best.”
9 times out of 10 it works but sometimes you get a person who’s a bit more attuned.  They always take a second look in my eyes.  Nothing you can do about the eyes, can’t wear sunglasses on the doorstep.  My eyes are predators eyes.  Like a sharks.  Dark and emotionless, all they see is prey.  These are the customers who’ll complain that the driver was late or rude.  They know something wasn’t right but they aren’t sure what.
“How does this all fit in with your MSP?” Palmer sounded genuinely perplexed.
“Look, you’ve got the mission statement – you know what I want to be” The rest is easy:
Each delivery is a fresh risk assessment.  Have they got a dog? Are there too many shoes in the hall or on the doorstep indicating lots of kids, will they let me in with the groceries?  If they do let me in what kinds of locks do they have, is there an alarm panel, where’s the phone line etc”
All these things added with any info I can get during chatting with them let’s me colour code them in my risk register.  Red is a no go.  Amber – possible with difficulty.  Green is a lovely colour.  It means they are prime for a little re-visit at a later date.  Just me and my little toolkit with its collection of very painful toys.
“Right” Palmer sighed.  “I get it now.  Every delivery of yours is a stakeout of potential victims.  Ingenious in its own twisted way but how did you manage to gain entry to the houses you coded green on your register?
“Well this is the method statement.  My method is to attend the house later the same day, gain entry, subdue my chosen playmate and enjoy a few minutes or hours of recreation depending on how much fun they are being.”
“Ok but that’s not telling us how you actually got in.”
“Well the problem with the method statement was that I needed a trigger.  Something to switch off their guard when I knocked at the door.  And then Findus rode to the rescue.  Or pranced, trotted or jumped depending on which equestrian joke you prefer”
“Carry on” Palmer said fighting an urge to grab Noble and strangle the life out of him.
“The whole Findus Horse Meat debacle gave me the excuse I needed.”  “What I did is add an additional question to the risk register.”
 “Have they ordered Findus Lasagne or Tesco Everyday Spaghetti Bolognese?”
If they were green and ticked this box as well, all I did was knock at the door and explain “that the store had identified that they had bought a contaminated product.”
“All us drivers had been asked to work overtime and visit customers to retrieve the item as a precaution.”
 Invariably they turned away to go into the kitchen.  I’d step in smartly behind them, a strong blow to the back of the neck put them down and that was it.
Cable ties and a rag in the mouth and outside for my toolkit.  Play time.
“How many times did this work?” Palmer responded not quite believing what he was hearing.
“You’re the policeman and you have all the paperwork” Noble grinned  “Time to do a bit of legwork I’m afraid but I can guarantee you aren’t going to like what you find”  “I’m a very very good delivery driver”
Palmer got up and walked out. 
Noble relaxed back in his chair, all the difficult work was done.  All he had to do now was sit back and revel in the undoubted adulation that was coming his way.
Project Complete.

Brian T

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