it occurs to me that i've complained about spouses, sports and all sorts of other predictable predicaments, and there hasn't been nearly enough said about how desperately, at times, work sucks. (ok, this whole "career" thing has been pissing me off royally today, and i can't get past that). well, rather than be accused of being anything less than a completely well-rounded cynic, let's get right to it:
strength and flexibility are often at cross purposes, whether within our own bodies, or within the attributes of a commercial enterprise. (ever see a body builder try to touch their toes?) having worked within relatively small organizations, (nimble & capricious), as well as relatively large ones, (plodding and thoughtful), i'm wise enough to realize that there is no "perfect" combination of these two elements, other than to observe that more of both of them are usually good. (there are indeed a lot of very limber decathletes). where frustration often ensues, is wherever unreasonable expectations for becoming a corporate contortionist-sumo-wrestler, (or powerlifting-ballerina), are concerned. get yourself a boss that doesn't "get" this, and you've got yourself a recipe for membership in scott adams
' fan club. (and if you noticed that this paragraph was hardly "right to it", congratulations for an honorable mention in wiley's "obviousman
" strips [don't forget to watch the obviousman movie further down the link!] and an observation that you haven't been reading this blog for very long, have you...)
ok, and now i've got to digress even further for this one: in confirming the link, i happened to notice today's strip (july 11th) and laughed right out loud. the phb says to dilbert, "i want you to write a business case for lobbying our government to attack elbonia". dilbert replies, "in the risk analysis section, do you want me to assume that hell is real or imaginary?". (laugh right out loud, drawing oddly quizzical attention from officemates, here). this much would have been funny enough, but scott always likes to twist the ironic knife: "real, but remember to discount the infinite future flows of agony to the present so it doesn't look so bad." (apologies to the corporate copyright gods for stealing, and to you if you didn't think that this little exchange was so laugh-out-loud funny, in which case i'm going to have to guess that you never went to business school or toiled below decks on the ss "corporate culture").
anyway... so, where was i?
oh, yeah, my boss trying to touch his toes while balancing a logical refrigerator on his back...
archibald putt, whoever he or she is, is welcome in my corporate bed, anytime. "the value of an idea is measured less by its content, than by the structure of the hierarchy in which it is pronounced"." WOW. got THAT right, archie! "the correct advice to give is the advice that is desired--the desired advice being revealed by the structure of the hierarchy, not by the structure of the technology". words to live by. "decisions are justified by benefits to the organization: decisions are made by considering benefits to the decision-makers." ain't that the TRUTH. "organizational stagnation occurs when the punishment for success is as large as for failure." welcome to my world. (who is this savant, and why hasn't he or she been elected president of the universe?)
are we shooting for strong, consistent, planned communication? or do you want an entirely new suite of nimble press releases, sales presentations, white papers and product documentation to reflect the new flavor of the month? (remembering, of course, that our love for the new flavor is only valid in north america, and we must continue to swear allegiance to our love for the old flavor in europe, except that we do care about the old flavor in case you bought it from us off the north american ice cream truck last year, which shouldn't be construed that we're discounting our devotion to the new flavor overall, though never to suggest that we're losing our dedication to the old one...)
just don't call me up one week, shuttling me nimbly off to san jose with 1000 new to-yoga-do's, and then spend all tuesday morning the next questioning why we haven't powerfully stood by all the old rhetoric... i'll be mentally thumbing through all my old archie comic books, and thinking that peter, and his principle, were right on the money.