Monday, September 19, 2005

Kill me, kill me now.

First off, the webcam shot of me leaning forward, staring at the screen is just awful. Fortunately, it will be gone by the time anyone reads this, hopefully.

Anyhow, I need to rant. The powers that be and a few powers that think they be have determined that we need a new website.

Since I'm the guy who does the websites, naturally, people are looking to me on this. I have aspirations to leadership, so I'll humor them. But it really ticks me off because in order to do this, I'm essentially proposing policy. The only way to actually do what they want done involves a bit of a change in mindset, a change in the way things are done.

Problem is, that my changes would occur in a vacuum. We have a whole department here... an every-other-month magazine, a weekly brochure, posters, directional signage, call-in recordings, and so on, and so on. So really, to build my new system, without actually taking any of this into consideration does not bode well. It sets me up for (a) failure or (b) a lot more work trying to make people understand the system. On top of that, I guarantee that if this system for the website is not the same system used for the rest of the communication, then it will not get used, because the website is an afterthought, an also ran. It's not critical, it's not important, it's not on people's radars.

The powers that be and the powers that think they be strongly indicate that it is and are pushing for it to be even moreso. But the people who require the advertising the most are the ones who think the least about the website. (In an ideal world, they wouldn't think about any of it -- they would submit their advertising requirements and let the Communications Department determine the best course of action.)

The other part of this equation that utterly sucks is that I'm not management. I can propose all I want. I can even get buy-in, approval and possibly even enactment of my vision. But why? I'm not in a leadership position. I'm not paid and in the general course of things, my input is not valued. Sometimes I feel downright hostility for even presenting ideas. I'm starting to learn when and when not to speak up. Sometimes I have to let people make bonehead mistakes. Even if it means more work for me. That just means other worthy projects have to wait on the sidelines while mistakes are made and then cleaned up.

In all this, I risk offending my boss. He's not a good boss, he's not a good leader. He's admitted in so many words that he's not a manager, doesn't like managing people and would much rather just be creative. And offending my boss isn't just having someone upset at me, it's having someone then be hypercritical of everything I am working on or have done in the past as a way of passive-aggressively retaliating, even so far as demanding changes to stuff that he's ultimately been responsible for the final design or process mechanism on.

But the best part of all? I now have a very stale presentation to make tomorrow. It's been postponed several times because people couldn't make it. Most recently, because my boss never looks at his calendar and decided to stay home and telecommute. Then I was on vacation. We scheduled it for tomorrow, one of the four times before the end of October when all parties could meet. Again, he didn't consider his calendar and planned to have a contractor come to his house tomorrow to start on his addition, so he won't be here.

My other boss, when he found out, said "No more rescheduling. We are having the meeting tomorrow."

And my boss' boss, when he found out, said we have to trust God's providence regarding who actually attends the meeting. It's not that I don't trust God, it's just that my fanatasies of what God's plan might entail just doesn't in any way include this guy skipping the meeting. It includes him quitting or getting fired, but who's to say that I'm qualified for his particular job, and I know he won't quit or get fired. He's too happy here muddling along maintaining and not innovating.
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