We here at Brevity thought it might be timely to invite a fictional speaker who came onto the scene ten years ago this month, in the first Mission: Impossible movie. In these days of international uncertainty, he is a true enforcer of the law, if by "true enforcer" you mean "paper-pushing bureaucrat." We all can learn a lot about maintaining good business practices from this former director of the CIA. Please welcome Eugene Kittridge.
Eugene Kittridge on employer liability: As always, should you or any member of your IM force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions.
On coffee preferences: I don't have to stress the importance of this matter. We're keeping it internally black.
On washing your hands: Don't think, be sure. Are you clean?
On skin care: Yes, the mole's deep inside.
On disgruntled employees: I can understand you're very upset.
On ill-advised dealmaking: You're determined to shake hands with the devil and I'm going to make sure you do it in hell.
On negotiation tactics: Let's not waste time chasing him. Make him come to us. Everybody's got pressure points. Find out something that's important to him personally and you squeeze.
On conference room overbooking: Do we have to evacuate?
On creative accounting: You and I know about this -- and that's where it stops. Understand? It never happened.
On arbitration clauses: Maybe we'll just keep the courts out of this one.
On chalkboard presentations: What do you need for a pinpoint?
On security leaks: I want him manning a radar tower in Alaska by the end of the day. Just mail him his clothes.
On Matt Lauer: He wanted us to know he was in London.
On physical evidence: This tape will self-destruct in five seconds.