Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Don't talk with your mouth open

Where I am working at the present, the smallest of decisions requires at least three meetings involving at least four different people, none of whom discuss anything with each other outside of the meetings.

If I casually tell one of them about my simple intention of getting a little job done, the other three get into a strop about not having been consulted about it. In this way, a two hour task turns into a three week one, but everyone continues to make money except me, who actually loses it.

Today, I have gone over old ground about the level of a 20mm hole through a wall. Should it be at ground level, or could it be 80mm above ground on the outside? If the owner says one thing and they have done another, then they run around like headless chickens, blaming each other for this unforgivable error. They spend 50% of their time covering their arses, and arse-covering costs money - but not their money.

They have ALL got their own offices - even the plumber has his own office! White walls, desk, computer, telephone - the lot. The bleeding plumber!

So I tippy-toe around them, trying to mind my own business without upsetting any of them and trying to fulfil very clear instructions direct from my client - their employer. He has unwittingly created a self-governing monster, just because he has been loyally keeping everyone in gainful employment.

The most useful thing I learned in Art School was this: Never upset the caretakers. They have the keys to all the doors and cupboards.

11 comments:

  1. Sounds infuriating at best, but government by committee is. I applaud your patience and self-control; haven't much patience myself.

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  2. I feel with you, Tom! All these meetings we had... so much wasted time. And not being made liable for recourse takes up a lot of precious time too - symptom of our over-anxious time (starts with nutrition). In my job we have to fill out so many statistics, that from my hour for councelling honestly remain only 25 minutes for the person in front of me - IF I would do statistics the way one wants it.

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  3. Your lesson learned at Art School is absolutely right !

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  4. I think a lot of people become over-endowed with their own importance Tom. I agree with you from my years teaching in Comprehensive School - the best person to keep on the right side of is without doubt the caretaker.

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    1. I truly do understand the level of my own importance, and that is not a brag. I also understand my limitations, which is essential if you are going to get a true assessment of your own importance.

      The trouble is, that everyone needs to understand everyone else's importance in any given situation for any of this to be any use at all.

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  5. A good lesson learnt . Reminds me of the old saying " it's hard to soar like an an eagle when you work with turkeys".... Reminds me of when I worked in a feminist organisation , all collaborative decision making ... Takes a fucking long time to make decisions .....

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    1. Ah yes - women need men to make decisions for them, don't they? (Hides under table with arms over head...)

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  6. When lunatics take over the asylum, the old joke, 'You don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps' becomes true.

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  7. Sounds to me like you need bigger feet to stamp with, and bigger fists to thump the table with. Of course they'd then all probably go on strike.

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    1. No, they would just refuse to cooperate.

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