January 16th, 2008

You Could Be Digging a Lake!

One of my gigs is—for the people who work there full time and actually care about their job responsibilities, which is probably somewhat less than 50 percent of them—an incredibly frustrating place.


Minds are changed often.

Responsibilities never stay static.

The Powerful People get mad at partner organizations, and refuse to communicate with them. Then they make up just as abruptly.

Money is considered, like air, an abundant resource, the presence of which one need never question. Unless one asks for a raise.

The office “pets” are the ones who do the least work, but make the most noise.


I don’t often get frustrated by the gig, though, as I’m not there full-time. For me, it’s more like entertainment that pays me to enjoy it.


Not so much today, though, when the boss decided to actually tell me (the noive!) what to do, and would not listen one speck to my suggestions. (Which are, of course, completely correct.) And, besides that, I actually have a fair amount of work to finish, which is somewhat cutting into my novel-revising time.


But a kind colleague—someone who is very good to snipe with—put everything in perspective for me.


She used to work at a spa. The kind of spa journalists wanted to write about in big fancy magazines.


The owner of the spa, in the preliminary phone interview, used to tell the journalists about the lake on the hill—and the kayaks. Neither of which the spa actually possessed. So after booking a journalist for a complementary stay, the spa-owner got some staff out to the hilltop and set them to digging that lake.


“So you see,” my colleague pointed out, “it could be worse. You could be digging a lake.”

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