Alice in Auditland.

Author:Jacka, Michael J.
Position:IA HUMOR
 
FREE EXCERPT

As you will recall, we were following the adventures of Alice--a bright, young girl who was waiting in the company lobby for an interview. The unusual sight of an auditor running late and rushing through the balls caught her attention for, in her limited experience, she had never known an auditor to make a mistake. Curious, she followed the auditor and soon found herself falling, falling down the Audit Hole.

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Alice fell into a giant lake that she realized was made up of auditees' tears. Climbing out of the pool, she met the auditees who were trying to figure out how to get dry. A mousy auditee suggested the driest thing she knew and started reading an audit report. This did not work.

Alice watched as a Director of Strategic Direction then led everyone in a race, guaranteeing them that, under his direction, everything would come out fine. He provided no rules, no time limits, and no direction. Everyone just started working, and chaos ensued. Alice asked why he didn't provide more control. He answered that everyone had been empowered and would get more done by taking responsibility for his or her own tasks. Alice pointed out that nothing was being accomplished, to which he countered, "Not yet, but look at all the activity."

Alice next met a great, large Auditor who held a long, complex ICQ. The questions started easily enough--"Who are you?"--but Alice was soon lost in the increasing complexity of the questions. She tried to ask questions, but the auditor just responded that it was his job to ask the questions. She finally asked if he knew the answers to the questions, but was told, "Of course I do, but I cannot tell you, for then your answers would have no more meaning. So, again, who are you?" Alice left feeling-sure the Auditor knew less than her.

Alice made her way to a boardroom where sat Mr. Hatter, Mr. Hare, and Mr. Dormouse. When Alice tried to sit in one of the many chairs, she discovered that the three of them were occupying all the seats. After some confusing conversation, it was apparent that they held many different positions. And every time Alice turned around, they were changing positions and seats. "That way," Mr. Hare informed her, "we can never be accountable."

Alice decided to change the subject and asked, "If I may sirs, in what project arc you so engrossed?"

We are working on a very special project for the Chief," answered Mr. Hatter with great delight. "We all felt that, as board members, we should...

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