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Poking a Stick
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I received, from a home office manager, an interdepartmental email today, requiring the people who work for me to have a task (impossible, no data) done by Friday (day after tomorrow) and for me to have a follow-on task completed the Friday after.

I have just spent a lovely (but exhausting) three hours, poking a stick into the burrow of every management person who could possibly be affected/involved/burned by this required task.

At first I got no response, just a lot of gritted teeth and dismissive answers. So I took a larger stick and started to beat the ground with it. In other words, I sent broadcast a memo to everyone who works for me, saying here's the situation: do the impossible, with no data, and have it done in two days.

Oh, my, there were a delightful number of poked eyes and raised eyebrows and, finally, the word from On High. Wait for tomorrow; we're going to have a major stick throwing contest (via teleconference) and the winner will decide what we're going to do.

Fine by me. Just so long as one of those management types earns his pay (extra money is for risk-taking) and makes a decision. Don't throw it back on me and tell me to "just use your best judgment." Hah. You don't pay me enough to put my stick on the line.

It's fun to be senior enough (and not looking for promotion) that you can poke sticks pretty much with impunity. Now to wait till the dust settles....

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