When Pope Gregory “invented” the calendar, he was working under the belief that having a single universal standard that today was really “today” and not some time in the middle of February would be a good idea for the Christian kingdom’s of Europe. At the very least, it would allow everyone to hold their major celebrations and feast days at the same time. Good stuff if you were a Pope in the 16th century. Most people today keep a calendar for the same basic reason. It’s a hellofa good way to keep major events organized and make sure everyone shows up to them at the same time.
The rub comes, of course, when no one can agree what is supposed to be on a “major event” calendar. Senior staff meetings make the cut, but not inter-staff meetings. The Uberboss’ days off are on there, but not the senior staff. Multi-jurisdictional exercises show up, but sometimes not local exercises impacting people in the building. Some events are listed three times because whoever put them on there can’t figure out how to change the date and/or time of the original reservation. And keeping track of the hot mess that is our calendar falls to junior staff who a) Don’t know what the schedule is supposed to look like; b) Aren’t told when things change; c) Have never been given clear direction about what events “make the cut”; and d) Have no authority to demand information from other senior staff offices. Sure, that’s a guarantee of getting a good product.
The way I learned it back in the days when dinosaurs ruled the earth was that if you are given responsibility to do a thing, you should also be given the corresponding authority to make that thing happen. Having one without the other, well, is about as productive as trying to put a high gloss of a pile of feces. This little endeavor isn’t something that should be hard to do… but the players involved almost guarantee that it will be an exercise in futility… But the again, that’s never stopped us from wasting inordinate amounts of time before.
Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of previously de-published blogs appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.