I hope you’ll excuse me, but I’m a bit nervous today. I have a job interview later today at a local Institution of Higher Education distantly related to the Important State Agency I work at now. I even bought a new suit, something I haven’t done, literally, since 1980. (I’m just not a suit kind of guy, I guess.)
If you read my first entry here, then you know the whole reason I started this blog was because I was fed up and disgusted with things here at the Important State Agency. This place has a management structure that hasn’t been seen since the fall of the Byzantine Empire. Fully two-thirds of the people who work here are in some sort of management or supervisory role. We have managers whose job is just to manage other managers. It’s preposterous, and I’m rather fed up with it.
It isn’t that I think the Institution of Higher Education will be any better. After all, it involves academics and a technical field of study (shudder). Not only that, but my lovely wife used to work in a department that has since been folded into the Institution of Higher Education, where she butted heads with an academic who not only should have been fired, but who should have been prosecuted for arguably criminal actions. We managed to bring him down from his position within the Institution of Higher Education, but he had tenure, so he’s still there. The position I’m interviewing for is unlikely to ever come into contact with this guy, but one never knows.
I’m just tired. I’m tired of working hard on projects that are crippled or damaged or scuttled entirely because of other people’s incompetence and ego. I mean, one of the reasons that I’m trying to leave the Important State Agency were I work now is that, a while back, I got into a bit of trouble because of a manager here who was assigned to be in charge of a project for which she was completely unqualified. The project was a complete disaster, mostly because of her involvement, but the directors all thought it was a spiffy success because, honestly, they didn’t know enough about the subject to be able to judge whether it was a success or failure. Her involvement with this project and another one led the other directors to promote the manager to being a director as well. Never mind that the project we worked on was a disaster — another project she was in charge of, which helped her get her promotion, was such a catastrophe that it cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars, something like five to 10 percent of our annual budget.
And me? I got a reprimand in my file because I dared point out that the director’s darling didn’t know what she was doing.
Perhaps I’m being petulant; it wouldn’t be the first time and likely won’t be the last. But, honestly, when someone who, other than a couple of failed projects, literally does nothing can be promoted to the executive staff of an Important State Agency, and when the feudal management system in place, a living, breathing example of the Peter Principle on an institutional scale, impedes almost every project in the place, it’s time to go somewhere else.
It’s also a reminder that one shouldn’t become emotionally invested with the work one does for hire, or attached to one’s workplace. That’s another reason I started this project, to have something I could become interested in and even excited about that was just mine, that I could do without having to convince anyone else that we should be doing it or that we should do it this way instead of that way.
Oh, well. So it goes.
This concludes our whining for the day. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.