The energy crisis is so shocking, let's try to raise a smile instead for the weekend. As always, I turned this morning to Dilbert - Scott Adams' worldview is refreshingly unusual, and it frequently turns into excellent humour - to find in the opening frame, the Boss asking: If anyone has an objection to my plan, this is the time to voice it.
Well, you can find out how it ends here.
My own personal encounter with this cheery manifestation of American business culture was as follows. Our London office, staffed mostly by Brits, was in receipt of a dynamic new American CEO, who immediately instituted some far-reaching changes. He duly held a 'Town Hall Meeting', at the end of which he asked for questions: "- any questions at all".
Accustomed to the British style in which this invitation was to be taken literally, up spoke Bob, a middle-ranking manager, with a courteous but penetrating question that was absolutely on point in the circumstances. He got an answer.
When the executive team next assembled, the CEO said to us: Now obviously everyone assumes Bob is going to get fired now, but you can tell your troops, I'm going to overlook it this time: he's OK.
The Brits amongst us glanced around at each other, somewhat stunned. None of us had assumed anything of the sort ... Yep, in the Land of the Free, some elements of the freedom package are selectively applied.
I'm sure there are several other unnerving stories out there, so go for it. Did I say "smile for the weekend"?