Rehearsal week…

If it’s possible, rehearsal week can be more awful than the actual production. It’s the week when everyone realizes they haven’t been paying enough attention as the big muscle movements take place during the planning process. They find, to their surprise, that all the major decisions have already been taken.

Rehearsals are for refining the concept – not for building something new from whole cloth. I’ll spend a large portion of this week digging in my heels, denying what would have been simple requests a month ago, and generally being an obstinate asshole. Sure, there are some who could, by applying enough pressure among the right people, force me to shift… but very few are going to be willing to exert that kind of effort.

One of the most important lessons of how to be a successful bureaucrat is learning how to say no. Sometimes you have to say it with honey dipped words. Other times you have to say it with claws out. Still, you have to learn to say it to friend and foe alike – and you have to learn how to make it stick.

This will be my annual week of saying no to almost everyone. It won’t win me any new friends, but I’ll drag this rank, festering boondoggle across the finish line. Once that’s done, no one much cares how often you had to tell then no.

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