Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Routine

Daily team conference calls begin with a cordial review of everyone's ailments. How's C's gout? Is D getting over his sciatica? Is his wife recovering from her hand surgery? Good. Now, one of the higher ups introduces the concern of the day? It's always the same concern. We don't know what we're doing. We don't know how to straighten it all out. Of the seven or eight people on the call no two are in the same room. Without the benefit of seeing each other it's hard to know when to jump in. As a result, the senior guys dominate the discussion. Eventually, those who are newer to the game fall silent. What's the point of starting to say something? Even if a young buck manages to get a complete thought in, there's always the very real danger his comment will be followed by three uncomfortable seconds of silence after which one of the head honchos will introduce a new and completely unrelated point. This will leave the young buck feeling for the rest of the call, and possibly for the rest of the day, like a complete idiot.

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