Police in Western Plains have issued an urgent warning to motorists not to pick up hitch-hikers.
A police spokesperson said this is completely unrelated to the fact that there are two men on the run in the area who are wanted for a range of ‘alleged’ criminal offences and who appear to be armed with a high powered rifle after ‘allegedly’ shooting at police officers during a car pursuit.*
‘Most sensible people would recognise that picking up hitch-hikers is not particularly sensible’ said the spokesperson.
Police have reassured the public that there is no suggestion that the two men seek or intend to use violence ‘on members of the community’.**
The Western Herald wishes to point out that whilst there is no doubt that the two men are wanted, it is not clear that the things they are wanted for are criminal offences. Furthermore, it is not saying the two men are armed. They only appear to be armed. And whilst it is not disputed that shots were fired from the fleeing vehicle or that a bullet struck the pursuing police vehicle, that is not to say that the shots were in fact aimed at the police car. At this stage these are merely unconfirmed allegations.
Western Plains Police wish to point out that whilst there is no suggestion that the two men seek or intend to use violence on members of the community, it’s quite clear they intend or have the propensity to use violence to avoid apprehension. For the avoidance of doubt, this is not to suggest that the two men on the run may use violence – unless it is to avoid apprehension. In which case, they might kill again. We’re glad we could put your minds at rest on that one.
The Member for Western Plains and Chairman of Western Plains Cricket Council Ron Dastardly has described the timing of fresh allegations that he received payment from shady overseas donors in exchange for his support as ‘a bit strange’.
The Western Herald says it has secret recordings of Dastardly meeting with two Indian bookmakers posing as Western Plains policemen posing as dodgy Chinese business men where he offered to fix games involving Western Plains Cricket Club in exchange for a ‘political donation’.
Dastardly previously said that accepting payment was ‘within the rules but it was wrong’. He quickly put out another statement saying ‘it wasn’t within the rules, but I didn’t know it was wrong’ before admitting this week that ‘I didn’t know it wasn’t right but I didn’t know it wasn’t wrong either’.
‘I hope that clarifies things’ he added.
John, traditional ideas about intelligence focus on skills and knowledge. But you’ve developed the concept of ‘muffin intelligence’. What do you mean by that?
Muffin intelligence is a special skill. Basically, it’s about managing people in the workplace, being able to influence or manipulate others by giving them a muffin.
And you contend that muffin intelligence is just as important as the more familiar concept of IQ?
Yes. There are many ways in which your destiny in life depends on your muffin. A deficiency in muffin intelligence could get a person into trouble. On the other hand, having these abilities could help you immensely. For example, the quality of your muffin may affect whether or not you’re going to get a promotion or find a life partner.
Has research shown such a correlation?
Yes. For example, men who enjoy muffin regularly are more popular with their female colleagues than men who don’t. And women who provide their managers with a regular supply of muffin are more likely to be promoted. Some women lack an awareness of this simple fact. They are often jealous of others’ success. I call it ‘muffin envy’.
There’s also a relationship between these skills and success in life, isn’t there?
Absolutely. We all know that skills such as being able to resist temptation or to delay gratification, are useful, but who wants to do that?
Your book describes some fascinating findings from ‘muffin’ field studies in Western Plains.
Right. Volunteers were brought in one by one to a room and had a muffin put in front of them. They were told they could eat the muffin now, but if they delayed eating it until I came back, they could have two muffins. About one-third of them grabbed the muffin right away, some waited a little longer, and about one-third were able to wait 15 or 20 minutes for me to return. Then I ate their muffin.
When researchers tracked down the volunteers one year later, they found an amazing result. The ones who were able to delay gratification were emotionally stable, highly rational merchant bankers. The ones who were unable to delay gratification were emotionally unstable and tended to fell apart under stress, but they were much more popular with their peers. The most unsurprising finding was that they didn’t get a promotion.
Is that because they were loyal to the team, rather than personally ambitious?
That’s part of it. But stupidity has to be a factor too.
What’s occurring when someone has ‘muffin anxiety’?
‘Muffin anxiety’ is when you can think of nothing else except muffin. It takes over your life. Am I getting enough muffin? Do people only like me for my muffin? Is my muffin moist and sticky enough? It can be debilitating.
We all know people with personality traits like yours. But is this something that people have to live with or can they be treated?
The good news about muffin anxiety is that it can be treated.
That’s encouraging, because one of the trends that worries managers is when their staff start developing an addiction to muffin.
Yes I’ve noticed that too. In many workplaces, if someone ‘muffs’ you, you have to ‘muff’ them back; that’s the rule.
What are researchers finding in terms of results?
Well, they’ve found that Senior Managers are able to control their impulses, have strong conflict-resolution skills and expertise in handling interpersonal problems. So that just about stuffs my chances.
Also by John Fustaigne:
In Search of Muffin
The One Minute Muffin
More Muffin Anyone?
The Muffin Skills of Highly Effective People
Who Wants to Eat My Muffin?
Ron Bishop, of Bishop’s Discount Tyres and Funeral Services has called for a new liturgy to reflect modern life, modern language and old fashioned paranoia. However Ron Pope at the newsagents has downplayed the chances of anyone in Western Plians taking him up on the offer. ‘He hasn’t got a prayer’ he said.
Our parental figure
Which art in office now
Donald be thy name
Thy will be done
On Earth as it is
Not in thy own kingdom apparently.
Give us this day
Our daily tweet
And forgive us our disbelief
As we read your latest comment.
And deliver on your election promises
By all means
But lead us not unto Armageddon
Because dead is forever and ever.
Muffin Management is a new approach to stategic management developed by Western Plains’ leading management consultant, John Fustaigne. Recognizing the weakness and vagueness of traditional management approaches, John decided that he could do the same.
Muffin management works by subverting previous management concepts of ‘achieving’ and ‘performing’ and replacing them with one simple criterion – how good is your muffin.
Fustaigne describes the moment he made the breakthrough to Muffin Management as follows: ‘I observed that performance measures are important for organisations that measure success in terms of adding value through investment in employees, training, technology and innovation. They are all vital if talent and success are to be recognised and rewarded. But I soon realised, that’s not the Australian way’.
What Fustaigne saw was that traditional performance measures meant everyone had to work hard. But very few workers were rated above average performers.
Fustaigne argued that performance indicators or key expected results should all be selected to put the best possible spin on staff performance.
As a starting point Fustaigne suggested that poor performance should be re-labelled as ‘meets all requirements of the position’. If this could be done, he argued, performance statistics and morale would improve immediately.
To demonstrate the power of his revolutionary ideas, Fustaigne recruited a team of egregious under-performers like himself. He asked them to keep him regularly supplied with mufffins. The better the muffin, the more likely staff were to be rewarded. Within 6 months they were all scoring ‘excellent’ and ‘outstanding’ on their performance feedback assessments.
The aggregated data was then sent to other managers who saw that they appeared to be below average. Overnight, dramatic improvement was seen across the organisation. Soon no-one was rated lower than ‘absolutely brilliant’.
In this model, traditional performance measures are simply irrelevant.
What Fustaigne has demonstrated is that the factors that normally lead to improved operational and financial performance are fine as far as they go. A comprehensive set of measures or indicators tied to organisational performance requirements represents a clear basis for aligning all activities with the organisation’s goals. But not for improving performance statistics on a consistent and universal basis.
Only Muffin Management can do that.
A new survey carried out by the Western Plains Journal of Health has claimed that up to one in five patients are occasionally seen by doctors at the appointed time, with doctors often the worst offenders.
A spokesperson for the Western Plains Medical Association has described the figures as ‘sickening’.
‘Most doctors I know are much too busy answering surveys to see patients’ he said ‘And much too important’.
The rejection of a new governance model for Western Plains’ football has caused complete chaos in the public bar at the Grand Hotel in Liebig Street with both sides accusing each other of not fully understanding the issues.
To help clarify things, the Chairman of Western Plains Football Association, Johann Fustaigne has agreed to answer your questions about how we got into this mess.
How did we get into this mess?
Two-and-half-years ago, FIFA directed Western Plains to introduce more democracy and transparency into the governance of football. And gender quality too.
What is democracy?
Democracy is a system of governance of the people by the people, usually by elected representatives. Last week I met with myself at the Western Plains FA to consider the issue and we all voted against it.
Who elected you?
It’s all in the minutes. Next question.
What’s at stake here?
The choice is simple: do we want football to be run by an independent custodian or a greedy billionaires club acting in narrow, elitist self interest?
What is a greedy billionaires club?
An independent custodian.
So what does the future governance model for Western Plain football look like?
Obviously we all want to see more democracy and transparency. And gender quality too. We all want to see that improved. But it’s all about timing. Football in Western Plains has never been in better shape and no-one wants to risk a return to the bad old days.
What were the ‘bad old days’?
The bad old days were before I became the chairman. Things got better after that.
Can money buy happiness?
No. But it can buy you a delegate in the vote for the World Cup.