Posts Tagged ‘bring me a rock’

Bureaucracy

January 14, 2009

By the book, in all the eleventy-seven business classes I’ve taken, a business corporate headquarters is there to assist the CEO, President, CFO, et al in running that business.  The people who work there facilitate, streamline, and enable the business unit (He…he…he… he said ‘unit’) to succeed.

But, as I keep learning, life is not ‘by the book’.  I was reminded of that at work recently.

And what I relearned was that a headquarters real job is to add meetings, oversight, reports, and needless roadblocks to the successful execution of a business.  Not to say that many business teams don’t need help from leadership, but wouldn’t it be nice if the ‘help’ was actually ‘helpful’?

Without getting into too much detail <pause while my readers have a collective sigh of relief>, each project over a certain budget value has to periodically go to the headquarters to prove they’re going the right direction.  Good business sense and these meetings are at critical junctures in the schedule.  Well, some bright Ivy League business grad decided we need to do yet another set of approval meetings, not tied to the schedule, yet the project cannot continue without it.

Whenever we get these policies from headquarters, we give the preemptory fight against the lunacy, but ultimately have to grit our teeth, take a deep breath, and accept our fate.  Which is what we did.

So, we reviewed the policy to see what we need to do for this new meeting/presentation to the corporate leadership.

And we looked again…

Nothin’…*

We called the next layer of bureaucracy divisional headquarters for guidance on how to conduct this new meeting.

Nothin’…

We called the black hole of questions corporate headquarters for guidance…

Somethin’!!

…well, sort of…

Corporate:  “We’re working on that.  We’ll know what we want when we see it.  Until then, just keep putting something together for us to look at.”

Us:  “Put ‘what’ together?”

Corporate:  “We’re working on that.  We’ll know what we want when we see it.”

Us [with teeth grinding]:  “Thank you, you’ve been more than helpful.”

Corporate:  “Oh, by the way… the leaders here at corporate are expecting your presentation in 60 days.”

Us [barely under our breaths]:  “Bastards.”

I’m not naïve enough to think any of you who work in a big…or even small…business have not run into the same phenomena. 

Doesn’t make it better…but does give me comfort knowing I’m not alone.

Bastards…

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*I can’t say or type this word without thinking of Yukon Cornelius from the TV special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.  If you’ve seen it, you know exactly what I’m referring to.  If you haven’t seen it, find it at watch… it is a classic of campy tackiness.