Monday, January 08, 2007

Another employee meeting

Yet another adventure in the old Dilbertocracy today -- the 2007 Sisyphean Corp IT department kick-off meeting this morning. Beany Countwell ("I'm a numbers man"), our CIO, fed us carbs and caffeine at an off-site location then hammered us with PowerPoint slides and business homilies.

I've said it before but it bears repeating: if you listen carefully you can learn a lot more at these functions than management intends for you to learn. It's all in understanding the code.

Management often speak in opposites. Example: when describing a soon-to-be-implemented system to track employees' time (in 15 minute increments), Beany emphasized it wasn't because management didn't trust us. No, that wasn't it at all.

Meaning, of course, that was precisely why they were doing it.

An HR rep discussed "taking charge of our careers," in which they revealed (with a curious lack of realization) that management kept a hit list of certain individuals to be terminated at the first opportunity.

Is this stuff supposed to boost morale?

Today's gem came when Beany tossed off the old Business Chestnut, "Lead, follow, or get out of the way." I reported this to D at dinner tonight, she said, "What the hell is that supposed to mean? It sounds like aggressive bullshit."

I've heard that old saw countless times and the underlying assumption is that naturally the hearer will be inspired to lead, or -- lacking whatever it is that makes a Leader, will at least have enough sense to fall into lockstep behind some Leader.

Hearing that today, I had a moment of epiphany. I realized for me the best course of action was to figure out how to get out of the way.

Way the hell out of the way.

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