How to manage your (diarrohea-prone) marketing staff

Dr Mumbo has come across an excellent new management technique.

Manage your team via passive aggressive blog post.

He salutes Marketing Eye’s Mellissah Smith, who describes herself as “one of Australia’s leading marketing experts”. Dr Mumbo feels this is selling herself short. She should add “managment guru” to that resume too.

Here’s her latest post, headlined “The strategic sickie”:

“A couple of days ago, I had a conversation with two of my employees and one said, ‘I bet that Joan will have a sick day while you are in Australia.’

“This morning, I received an email saying, “I will not be in, I am unwell”.

“Chances are that this is just a coincidence, or perhaps it is not, but it is an issue many small businesses face.

“Are your employees just there to get a pay check or are they there because they are passionate about their jobs. Is sick leave an entitlement, or there for when someone really needs it?

“We only have one employee in the entire company that takes a sick day as and when they become entitled to it usually citing diarrohea as the culprit but today, they chose just the words ‘unwell’.

“This is not saying that the person is not unwell, but the bigger issue is how do these people affect your company culture and what role do they play in encouraging others to feel “entitled” rather than use sick leave for instance, for the real purpose of having it?”

Update: (Unfortunately the post seems to have accidentally been deleted from the blog. It follows:)

Source: Marketing Eye blog | Click to enlarge

Source: Marketing Eye blog | Click to enlarge

All of which Dr Mumbo certainly does find an interesting insight into Marketing Eye’s company culture.

And here’s more, from a little while ago, headed “Want a marketing consultant in Melbourne? Beware!”:

“Three years ago I employed a guy as a marketing executive in our Melbourne office and he last a few weeks. He was terrible at everything other than writing a direct marketing letter. A few weeks later, with a web developer as a mate, he started up his own marketing consultancy.

“Would I trust my valuable marketing dollars with him? No. He simply was not across marketing enough and didn’t have a natural knack for understanding a market.

“Recently I employed a marketing manager overseas and while they were in their trial period, I realised that they knew nothing about marketing. In fact, I am flabbergasted as to how they had two good strong references because although she is the nicest person in the world and completely adorable, her marketing skills were almost non-existent.

“When she started working she asked over a series of weeks; “how do you book advertising?” “I have never done a direct marketing campaign, how do you do that?” “I have never written a marketing strategy, how do you do that?” “I have never done social media?” “I have never done PR?” – well what have you done? Harsh I know, but it can be frustrating and expensive for small businesses to hire people.

“I say BEWARE of hiring a marketing consultant in Melbourne, not because it is Melbourne, but because it is like any city in any country around the world. People say what they think you want to hear, but the reality is, you need results and as a small business, you need to work with people who have “been there and done that”.

“Which leads me to travel. If your marketing consultant has not travelled in the past 12 months overseas and I am not talking about a trip to Bali – then fire them. Without exposure to what is happening in marketing around the world and seeing for yourself how marketing is executed in each different country, how do you understand marketing or push boundaries?”

In both cases, Dr Mumbo urges readers to follow the link and enjoy the articles in their entirety. It’s an excellent (he assumes) satirical blog.


  1. Simon
    15 Aug 13
    1:39 pm

  2. Seems “the strategic sickie” article has disappeared?

  3. Doug
    15 Aug 13
    2:27 pm

  4. “Not travelled… …fire them”. … I understand the sentiment… But she’s hears about the Internet, right? It’s not about travelling… It’s about continuing to learn and experience other like minded people. It’s about networking and learning. Those that stop learning will go the way of the dinosaur.

  5. Feeling Unwell
    15 Aug 13
    2:29 pm

  6. prime candidate for the awkward lean awards.

  7. Nathan
    15 Aug 13
    2:35 pm

  8. why does she remind me of Roxy from Celeb apprentice?

  9. iheartplayinghooky
    15 Aug 13
    2:37 pm

  10. sick days are part of the total benefits package employees receive and in my opinion, can be used however the employee deems necessary.

  11. stephen
    15 Aug 13
    2:41 pm

  12. I love this one on her website:
    “Learn tricks on how you can market your small business with little or no money with marketing expert Mellissah Smith at a series of seminars across Australia in October 2012.”

    Apart from the fact that the website is obviously out of date (Is that one of the tricks?), the promise of “marketing your business for no money” always has a slightly flim flam air about it.

  13. What a shame
    15 Aug 13
    3:32 pm

  14. First post has been removed….darn

  15. iBean
    15 Aug 13
    3:49 pm

  16. Hi Dr Mumbo,

    Was the post “Strategic sickie” taken down? I’m getting a 404 error when I click the link.


  17. joan
    15 Aug 13
    4:18 pm

  18. Hi Melissa,
    Won’t be in tomorrow as I won’t be feeling well, soz. Missing you already, my inspirational diminutive-but-strident sub-alpha businessy-business chook reference point and wage-source.

  19. Feeling crook
    15 Aug 13
    4:22 pm

  20. Mellissah asks how an employee taking a sick day affects the company culture.

    Well if indeed she has only “one employee in the entire company that takes a sick day”, I’d say that’s fairly strong evidence to suggest said sickie taker has exactly zero impact on the team culture.

    Having said this, if I worked for a firm where the boss blogged about my sick days, I probably wouldn’t be feeling too “passionate” about my role either. The fact is that sick days ARE an entitlement whether she likes it or not, and it’s absolutely none of Mellissah’s business whether her employees have diarrohea, are “unwell” or simply need a mental health day away from the pressures of working under such a markteing genius.

  21. She cannot be serious?
    15 Aug 13
    4:48 pm

  22. This lady is stuck in some dark, dark age… Only today the 15 hardworking women in our consultancy were circulating one of Melissah’s blogs about how women should support their men… Read’s like 1950’s Good Housewife Guide:

  23. Anon
    15 Aug 13
    5:07 pm

  24. So she just pays out on all her current and former employees?

  25. What the?
    15 Aug 13
    7:00 pm

  26. Methinks she writes too much personal stuff and strays off-topic. Used to follow her on twitter until she wrote something about being hurt by criticism and then tweeted non- stop quotes and sayings about ‘how words can’t hurt me’ etc. Had to Unfollow. I gather she will start up again due to this article. Too much emotional dirge. Not professional, at all.

    And seriously? You have to be travelling overseas to help small business in Melbourne?? More like you need to have a serious understanding of Melbourne and your target market. Marketing trends internationally can be understood thanks to something known as the Internet. And as for hiring staff who don’t have a clue – speaks volumes about the hirer…

  27. Melissah with an 'H'
    15 Aug 13
    7:05 pm

  28. A moment to appreciate that under ‘Her expertise spans across the following sectors’ section, she has listed:

  29. LW
    15 Aug 13
    10:14 pm

  30. “Mellissah Smith is a leading International marketing experts having pioneered two specialist marketing firms into operations in three separate States of Australia.”
    I’m guessing squirty-arsed Joan was off sick the day she was meant to write and proofread the website copy?

  31. hey hey
    16 Aug 13
    8:37 am

  32. good point about the hirer “What the”. I have worked for private and public media companies where the GM had no idea about many aspects of advertising and marketing, as recently as 12 months ago!!! Most people will quote ‘fake it till you make it” so It doesnt suprise me to hear these stories.

  33. Sam Eoldidea
    16 Aug 13
    9:25 am

  34. I feel for poor Joan. Working for Melissahhh would give me the shits too.

  35. Groucho
    16 Aug 13
    11:24 am

  36. The client service director at an agency I once worked at said “if you are sick come in to my office, throw up, and then you can go home”. He didn’t say what to do if you had diarrhoea but if I worked for this person…………

  37. kiera
    16 Aug 13
    11:32 am

  38. I bet this isn’t even the half of it. If she puts this much on her company blog imagine what else goes on in the background. What a nightmare.

  39. wow
    16 Aug 13
    12:01 pm

  40. Working for her would really give you the shits…

  41. shamoo
    16 Aug 13
    1:16 pm

  42. Reminds me of a horror boss I had once, especially the ‘beware’ blog post.

  43. Paul Eveleigh
    16 Aug 13
    2:09 pm

  44. “I am flabbergasted as to how they had two good strong references because although she is the nicest person in the world and completely adorable, her marketing skills were almost non-existent.”

    Beware referees.

  45. Ouch
    17 Aug 13
    3:47 pm

  46. Looking for a rewarding career? Once in a lifetime opportunity to work with one of Australia’s leading marketing experts, with the chance to be featured in company blog detailing your bowel movements and sick day tally.

    Note: Diarrohea-prone marketers need not apply!

  47. anon_coward
    19 Aug 13
    11:52 am

  48. “Marketing trends internationally can be understood thanks to something known as the Internet.”

    +100 internets for What the?

  49. bob is a rabbit
    19 Aug 13
    12:20 pm

  50. Oh dear. Such is the danger of being a self-proclaimed expert, in self-published magazines, on self-published social media, promoting self-published books.

    (Edited by Mumbrella for legal reasons)

    To their clients, just remember, pay peanuts, get monkeys.

  51. bob is a rabbit
    19 Aug 13
    2:49 pm

  52. Tim – a reason my comment is awaiting moderation? I thought it didn’t cross the line?

  53. mumbrella
    19 Aug 13
    3:10 pm

  54. Hi Bob is a rabbit,

    Just a bit too far in part, now moderated…


    Tim – MUmbrella

  55. Spagoni
    28 Aug 13
    2:55 pm

  56. Message from the boss:

    If you’re not going to come in on Saturday……don’t even bother coming in on Sunday!