Wednesday, December 26, 2001

A moment in the life of an executive minion

I find it faintly amusing to write memos for executives who:

  • Have never seen the information that's been written about in the first place
  • Who will not remember the information in the future
  • Whose secretaries read the darn memos and then file them in folder 13
  • Are confused when the questions start coming in
  • Have a lot of questions to begin with and confuse you when you understood in the first place what really was going on
  • Call a special meeting to discuss one paragraph in a three-paragraph memo and argue about the wording. Does 'is' really mean 'is'?
  • Don't care
  • Delete the email automatically by rule ("Is it from that Seema chick? Delete!")

I used to tack my name onto all memos I sent out, just from the principle of the matter. Call me if you have questions, don't call the Big Guys. But the recipients call the Big Guys anyway and then the Big Guys are confused over who sent out the memo in the first place ("What did I send out? I don't remember saying anything like that!"). I've found that the principle of the matter - ie sticking your name on something - is overrated. So I don't do that anymore; I just find the highest level management person who will accept responsibility and put hir name on the darn thing. It's made life less controversial for me.

Corporate America can really be amusing.

I'm also amused by the pretty flyers we put out. We're very good at flyers and I have produced a couple that I think should belong to the Flyer Hall of Fame (go ahead, call me arrogant, but I take the production of pretty flyers very seriously). Flyers, I've discovered, are a way of being "active" versus not - or rather, motion equates to action or progress or what have you. Which confuses me as to why we go through the expense in the first place. I get flyers and if it desn't have anything to do with what I do, then it goes in the trash. But as long as we're putting out flyers, we're doing something! (Yes, I'm putting out several flyers in January, so go ahead, call me a hypocrite - you know you want to). I find it very hard to believe that production numbers are at all affected by flyers or lack thereof, but that's just me.

Flyers, btw, are more fun than memos. Especially when memos are about billing cycles and additional charges to customers. Bleech.

Things that they never teach in B-school.

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