The King’s Shilling
A long time ago, but not in a galaxy far far away, accepting the King’s shilling signalled your willingness to serve in the army or navy. It was a commitment to do your duty. The press gangs used to use all sorts of nefarious tactics to get people to accept the King’s shilling…including slipping it into a tankard of beer. The view being that when you finished your beer and looked at the shilling….you’d accepted it…..and hence why you can get tankards with a see-through base.
I mention this because I used this phrase yesterday with one of our Directors. To be honest, the guy is one intransigent fucker and in this specific scenario has been happily sitting on his hands for months rather than carrying out a piece of work that we need doing. Why? Because he doesn’t agree with the request.
We’ve had the debate, we have heard the arguments and we have decided on our path. He doesn’t agree so he is not doing what he needs to. His boss has had repeated exchanges and so I suggested I do the old Mystic Meg routine and “predict his future”. We danced around the subject for a while before we got to the main issue. His view was that he was happy to “put forward the company’s view”. My response was “you are the company”.
The practice was not illegal, or he could have used Whistle blowing legislation. It wasn’t even grey. He just doesn’t agree.
My view? No-one slipped this in your beer. You take the King’s shilling you do your duty.