Strategic Operating Review of My Personal Life

This month our department completed a Strategic Operating and Budget Review and identified measures to increase efficiency.  Many of my colleagues are now unemployed.

The layoffs spared those who were under-classified, under-qualified, and inexpensive. Though I am still working, the exercise did not leave me unscathed. I am now very conscious of how precarious my potential career will be, how government employees need to be prepared, and how I need to eliminate all inefficiencies and low priority activities from my life.

So, I have developed a plan to apply the principles and processes of a government strategic operating and budget review to my personal affairs and to run my life the way our senior management runs the department.

1)  I will call a meeting of my family and friends to inform them that I will be reassessing my relationship with them on a two-to-three-year cycle going forward and that they will be required to demonstrate rigorous results against vague priorities not yet announced and subject to change on a daily basis.

2)  I will break my home and personal possessions into separate little “Operating Units” to function on cost recovery. Soon I will be able to see whether renting my car out as a bandit taxi or running my bathrooms as public pay toilets can generate enough revenue to justify their continued maintenance. There are options for the bedroom as well.  In any case, the exercise will ensure that rooms and possessions that don’t earn money in isolation of other parts of the house and only produce general benefit are boarded up, disposed, or privatized.

3)  I will create a portfolio of special committees inviting my family and friends to develop reallocation scenarios and reinvestment proposals for imaginary freed-up money to keep them occupied, distracted, and placated as I implement other elements of my personal Strategic Operating and Budget Review.

4)  As resources diminish, I will look at Common Services – things like my parents – and see whether they could not be collapsed into one unit.

5)  I will invite an ongoing stream of semi-knowledgeable strangers into my home to assess my possessions and comment on whether I am managing my life effectively or efficiently in their best interests and in the interests of some unidentified taxpayer who has never met me, but definitely doesn’t like me.

6)  I will rebrand my family and friends for show and to echo the Strategic Operating Review themes, giving them all nicknames to better resonate with the current trends: such as “Audit” and “Control” for boys -  and for the girls - “Efficiency.”

7)  I will waste a tremendous amount of time studying things and reviewing papers, but will do it laying on the couch so if anyone bugs me, I can say I'm doing a “Horizontal Review” of opportunities for improvement.

8) I will move all my furniture to the living room and point all chairs toward the back wall, explaining to guests that it is a function of “renewal” and efforts to encourage alignment and focus.

9)  I will not pay my bills and will instead preserve resources for meeting my “legislated” or "statutory" obligations: things like fights in small claims court, mortgage renegotiation, and bankruptcy proceedings.

10) I will go further into debt and borrow millions of dollars to create a special fund for the implementation of this plan to dismantle my life.

Finally, if, as I implement this Strategic Operating and Budget Review of myself, I do identify genuine and valid ways to save money and reduce expenditures, I will sit on them, pretend they do not exist, and keep losing money.  I will not make any such changes until I can announce them in a news conference or speech to a Board of Trade sometime after the next Federal Budget.