Opinion

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A cheer for charities, employment advice and season’s greetings

4 Mins

Web hits are up and orders are pouring in from all over the country for one of the products, Snotty the Pot, sold by the Long Lane Garden Centre. It’s out-selling the other products ten to one!

Makes you think, though, doesn’t it? Charities like these are on people’s doorsteps, but many people don’t even know they exist.

And it seems I’ve hit a nerve with my opinion that having employees sitting in endless meetings, reportedly up to eight a week on average, is a complete waste of time. I’ve heard back from many people who agree that there is no point locking yourself away in an office with a bunch of colleagues to talk about things that one person could make a decision on in five seconds flat.

The only reason I can think of that people insist on having these time-wasting meetings is that they are so frightened of making a mistake and being blamed for something going wrong, that they prefer to decide things by committee. That way, they can drag five other people into the blame frame. But I’ve got a simple way to stop this situation getting out of control: don’t employ spineless idiots!

Since I first pointed out how ludicrous this whole thing is, I’ve been hearing from others who are infuriated at “never being able to reach people because they are in a meeting”. One soul in particular, who has been struggling to get through to the NHS, has even asked whether I might be persuaded to take it over. Now if that were to happen, I can tell you one thing, I’d soon have some hard medicine for them to swallow – an end to all those pointless meetings. 

I got a very strange request yesterday: a firm of City bankers wanted me to come and speak at their next Entrepreneurs’ Forum. They are apparently interested in the “fascinating” Pimlico story. I’m not sure they’d be so keen on me explaining how I would advise business owners to steer well clear of all bankers, or risk losing control of their commercial destinies.

I have strictly refused to ever incur credit debts throughout the 30-year history of Pimlico and we’re in a strong position now.

Got my first Christmas card today and, to get in to the spirit of things, we’ve also put up our Pimlico Christmas decorations on the top of our building. It gets quite competitive ‘round our way, but the lads have done me proud.

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Launched in 1979 in Pimlico with just a bag of tools and a very old van bought at auction, Pimlico Plumbers now has over 133 professional plumbers and a support team of around 35 staff, with a turnover in excess of £15m. 

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