Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Brush with er, greatness

Yesterday I had lunch with the president of my company.


A coworker and I had just come from a roundtable meeting in which he [The Prez] comes down from his mountaintop in Kansas City to make a token appearance to us peons. During the meeting he basically told us that we should stop whining about stuff like our dress code and how many vacation days we get and just get stuff done. He thinks we should be throwing off the mantel of paperwork thrust upon us by our management because “we shouldn’t just do stupid stuff because we’re told to” and that we should show a backbone to our customers.


Here is someone who is totally out of touch with his organization. Someone who says he cares about us in one breath and dismisses our concerns in the next, and who apparently doesn’t have to deal with a management structure that is constantly pointing the blame to some other nameless and faceless entity.

So anyway, he sits down with the coworker and me. And he turns to me and says I was quiet during the roundtable, and asks if I’m shy. It happens that I am shy around new people, but I simply told him that I’d asked my question during his inaugural visit some months ago. Really? He says. What was your question?

Eek. My question was about what he intended to do about our low morale.

So I simply say, I asked the morale question. Oh, he says. So has it improved? This is where I sort of laugh and shrug, and The Prez looks to the other peon and he also makes helpless gestures. Ahh, says the astute Prez. So it hasn’t improved.

I point out to The Prez that it is hard for an organization to be taken over by another one and for all to go on its merry way. He nods. My VP has also seated himself with us and he chimes in to say the culture is very different.

Thankfully the other peon gives some specific examples to The Prez while I gnaw on my cold leftover eggroll and hope I don’t spray anyone with spittle. I corroborate one example and The Prez seems both annoyed and interested overall, though he offers no real solutions to the morale problem. The subject finally turns to The Prez’s family, and since I’ve finished my eggroll, the pressure is off.

That was my excitement for the day, and also why I didn’t post yesterday. I missed blogging. I am not sure what to think of that. Does it make me a geek? Or just someone who can’t keep my thoughts to myself?

Last night we painted half of the kitchen with a second coat. I think two coats will do it, then touch-ups, tape removal, and cleanup. Shwew! I still haven’t finished the last leaf appliqué. Maybe goal-orienting my hobby is not a good idea. All this pressure to get it done just doesn’t seem right for something I’m supposed to be enjoying myself with. I do enjoy it while I am actually doing it--I’m not making a case for cutting off the hobby. I’m just saying maybe the goals take the fun out of it for me because in the back of my mind I have this deadline mushrooming like a nuclear cloud over my project.

Though the second birthday is a deadline I can’t do anything about. So if it is going to be done, I’ve got to start working on it more.

As soon as the Christmas Flurry is done.


  1. Don't you love when upper management asks for your opinion but they don't really want it? I'm lucky. No one asks me for my opinion. Telling them "it sucks, now pay me" probably won't cut it. But I think you handled it well. At least you got to express an opinion, and did so intelligently.

  2. I wish I had the nerve to tell a boss the truth. Tell them my work goals are not what they think they are. I just want to show up close enough to on-time so no one hassles me, and get paid. Really the not getting hassled part is the biggest. Well that's not true, they quit paying me, I quit showing up.