some guy (self) wrote,
some guy
self

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Futility loves company

Dad's in the other room, listening to a book-on-tape. Only, there's something horribly wrong with this tape, and the audio pulses from silence to full volume two or three times a second. And where most people would throw this tape in the trash, or go back to the store demanding a refund, he's turned the speakers as high as they'll go. This gives him more of a window to understand what's being read to him. His mind puts things in context, and makes sense of it all.

That's all great and inspiring and stuff, but as someone sitting 30 feet away, I'm only hearing vowel sounds. And I can't block them out, because they're so unsteady.

I'd tell him this bothers me, but he's got enough frustration just trying to listen to the tape.



This would be one of a dozen episodes that have popped up in the past week or so, where I understand neither the situation nor my response to it. It doesn't make sense, except as a metaphor. Were I reading my life as a novel, this is about the part where I'd put it aside and laugh at the author's unbelievable arrogance.

...which is pretty much what I did this weekend, and I owe some people an apology for disappearing.



The company I work for plays out this scenario countless times every day. Whatever task someone is assigned, you can bet someone next to them knows how to do better. And this incompetence will grate on their nerves, but three thoughts prevent them from stepping forward to show how it's done:
  1. "It's not my place."
  2. "They're trying so hard, I don't want to criticize them."
  3. "At least it's not me."
We had a meeting on Friday, and at this meeting, I took the brunt of management's frustration for several issues in which I was never involved. Tomorrow, this will repeat, only I'll have accepted responsibility to turn those issues around, and my failure to do so will no longer be imaginary. But, why was I singled out? One of the salespeople was kind enough to explain afterwards: because I didn't turn away from direct eye contact. The trick, it seems, is to take fervent notes and never look up from them.

When this is the structure, how can leadership perform? And without leadership, what vision do we follow? Without vision, without direction, what hope do we have?

I'm told that this is universal, that I can expect the same from any company I go to work for. I don't believe that. But as I grow more jaded, more cynical, I have to think I'm diminishing in value to any employer who actually deserves me.

I need out.
Just give me an excuse.
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