We're taking a bit of a breather while the world rearranges its underpants. Meanwhile, the other blog is here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Kicking the ball into the long grass: a masterclass

Having spent hours watching the masters at work lately, together with the usual impulse for an end-of-year review, I suddenly feel enlightened as to the workings of our organisation. I offer this insight as a public service...

Want to do something? Achieve something? Make something happen? Ah well...

"I'm a bit busy at the moment"
This is Reggie Clockwatcher's favourite put-off. It's utter drivel, of course, and he knows that we know that he knows we don't believe him because for Reggie "busy" is not having the time to spend a couple of hours on the 'phone negotiating an inflated deal for business directories we don't need. It doesn't stop anything happening but you know Reggie won't get himself involved.

But you knew he wouldn't anyway.

"It'll be done next week"
This is our friends in IT. The cheque's in the mail. Have your girl talk to my girl. It doesn't taste of anything. Conkers.

"What do other libraries do?"
The instruction is to ring around and ask if anyone else is doing what you suggest, with the implication being that if it's a novelty it's not on. What the uninitiated don't realise is that if anyone else is doing it it still might not be on. No decision has been made one way or another, it's a stall.

This is Mary's favourite mode of prevarication. It's pretty much nursery slope stuff in the scheme of things but it can be profoundly irritating when effectively deployed.

"We need to discuss this"
This is a low-level T. Aldous stall. He has no intention of ever discussing it, whatever it is. This leads on to...

"We need to have a meeting about this"
He has no intention of having a meeting, either. This can go on for months. Unless you're really unlucky and it becomes...

"I think we need to review this now that ..."
Now you're screwed and may as well pack up and go home. The van driver's post has been vacant for six years because T. Aldous wants to review the delivery route.

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