Sometimes you just have to sit back and marvel at the inner workings of the bureaucracy – at so much time and effort allocated to generating so little tangible result; at so much collective ability to dodge and weave responsibility; at so much agreement in the moment and then barge-fulls of disagreement over the same issues later in the day.
On days like today, I’m reminded of one of my very favorite lyrics penned long ago by Don Henley. In his song, the Devil weeps over Los Angeles becoming more hell than Hell. I can assure you, it’s a sentiment that applies far outside southern California.
I am an expert witness, because I say I am
And I said, gentleman, and I use that word loosely
I will testify for you
I’m a gun for hire, I’m a saint, I’m a liar
Because there are no facts, there is no truth
Just a data to be manipulated
I can get any result you like
What’s it worth to ya?
Because there is no wrong, there is no right
And I sleep very well at night
No shame, no solution
No remorse, no retribution
Just people selling T-shirts
Just opportunity to participate in the pathetic little circus
And winning, winning, winning
If ever a song filed itself right into the “how I feel about it” category, this would be the one. Well, maybe except the winning bit at the end, because I’m mostly living in a world where everything is made up and the points don’t matter.
Two days into the week, it looks like it’s going to be another exercise in triage – in trying to figure out which high priority item is going to bleed to death if I don’t tend to it immediately and which I can put off to let bleed a little longer. It’s a hell of a way to try to get things done and nearly impossible if any of what you’re trying to accomplish requires deep thought and analysis. Thank God nothing I deal with ever needs any of that. You can’t see it, but I’m rolling my eyes while I wrote that last bit.
Due in part to to what feels like the never ending variations on a hiring freeze, our preternatural ability to reorganize ourselves every six months, decisions (or lack thereof) made by high management, and people moving on to better opportunities, we’re at least three hands shy of where we should be. That doesn’t sound like a lot except it roughly translates to 1/4 of the total number of people who should be working in my office. Add into that mix the normal and customary sick days, vacation days, and alternative work schedule days off, it means as often as not we’re operating half staffed or less. Some days it’s much, much less.
Whether echelons higher than reality want to accept or admit it, it creates an environment where even if good work were encouraged, it would be nearly impossible to achieve. I won’t speak for anyone other than myself, but just now it feels like any day that doesn’t end in taking water over the transom was a good one. Running flat out just to avoid sliding backwards is a lot of things, but it’s not a recipe for encouraging or enabling anyone to do their best work. It’s a recipe for struggling to stave off disaster just enough to get through the day. When that’s what passes for a win, we’re all in trouble.
I’ve never been a celebrity watcher. I probably couldn’t name the top five movies in the past year or any of the current top ten songs on the pop charts. That being said, I can’t seem to look away from the ongoing train wreck that is Charlie Sheen. In fact, I’m watching Charlie on ustream while I’m writing this. I have absolutely no idea why. But I can’t seem to look away.