I try to keep my PowerPoint slides simple. A few words. Maybe a nice graphic to help get the point across. Sometimes, though, there are those slides that feel like they could bring an indictment for murder. Or at least reckless endangerment.
A recent presentations started out very homicidal. It was ugly. The group pulled together to make improvements by the deadline but it still never was that great. It wasn’t death by PowerPoint but close. It was really uncomfortable-and-miserable-feeling by PowerPoint.
An old boss said this once several years and it really stuck with me. How could it not? It’s simple yet conveys a distinct message.
I drew this after a wonderful meeting with my favorite asshat. As her face was turning a lovely shade of puce, she accused me (among many other things) of never giving her a document I had written for her to review and approve. I told that she received a hard copy of the document at another meeting the month before. “Well, look at the pile I carry around,” pointing to a large pile papers she has with her at all times. “You can’t expect me to find it in this mess.”
My fault, I know. So, I told her the document was emailed to her prior to the aforementioned meeting. She all but called me a liar and said she would have to dig through her numerous emails, if it actually is there. She sure did not remember seeing it. If she did not get the email, then my fault and I will send to her. Which I did – forwarded the original (with her name first in the “To” line) and I made sure I copied her bosses on that, as well. Which led me to recall the line above.
Ahhh, good time, good times.
This is a follow-on to the Sharing cartoon from a while back. I have been too busy to be really angsty and haven’t come up with a new coffee-related or run-related one lately.
I will relate one story that kind of leads into this.
In creating a schedule for the project I am currently managing, I needed a section for getting out the word of the software being developed. I used the word ‘Marketing’ because, well, that’s what it is. No. I was warned, sternly, that marketing is so-and-so’s responsibility and will really get their panties in a bunch if I use that word.
I tried, ‘Socializing’ and that was rejected because our customer might not like that, either, since it is not specifically spelled out in the task.
I so don’t care. It’s a word. Call it ‘Talking Out My Ass.” I. Don’t. Care. Or, as the cartoon implies, I really don’t give a shit. It’s a word for a task, people.
Really, people. Get a life.
This is a follow-on to Will Work For Relevance. If I can’t work for it, might as well pray for it.
[not sure what is up with the scanning job of this one. Still not getting the settings right. That bothers me. More evidence of my drekky-ness, I guess]
Let Me Share...
Jenny says she can always tell when I’m angsty about work. She must have ESP or something.
Please feel free to print this out and share with your fellow cube farm dwellers.
I was in a meeting with one of these last week. She came rolling in and next thing I knew, we all had new tasking not related to the original scope of work. And she wants it all before the end of the meeting, if not sooner. Last August would be good.
In their book, I Hate People, Jonathan Littman and Marc Hershon call them Bulldozers but the meaning is the same. In their description, this person is “prone to bashing the table” (yep, she did…a lot). They describe these people as akin to playground bullies that are now workplace bullies. Her underlings are afraid to stand up to her. They let them steam along with the wrong information or wrong impression and try to clean up whatever mess she has made. Her superiors like her because she gets things done, even if they are the wrong thing. She is one the types that does not trust anyone until they prove to be trustworthy and those who have the misfortune of getting on her bad side are forever smeared. Remember the “Circle of Trust” from the movie “Meet the Parents“? Once you’re out, there is no getting back in.
I need to tread softly. Stand up too much to her and I can find myself off the contract in an eye blink. The trick is letting her know she’s wrong but make her feel like she came to the conclusion all on her own.
As a drill instructor used to say, “That’s good training.” (he said that about everything).
This is Stoopid Man. He is the defender against all that is stupid like meetings, and bosses and mission statements and co-workers. He is currently posted on the wall next to the white board in our little cubeville. Lots of stoopidity happening there!
Feel free to print out Stoopid Man and post him in your cube to protect you against all that is stoopid.
Several days ago, I posted this status message to my Facebook page:
Steve Heath Ahhh. Another day another 9.5 hours of my life I can’t get back.
My aunt, who meant well, really, responded with this:
Steve’s Aunt: In reference to your entry about another 9.5 hrs of your life you can’t get back…..Think instead, aaahhhh. Another 9.5 hrs that I lived in good health, with a loving wife and son, and lots of friends…..Life is good. See your glass half full!!!:)
I get what she is talking about and am thankful for everything she spoke of. She meant well. But look at the Maslow pyramid below.
Pic from Wikipedia
I tried to write something all intelligent and insightful about Maslow and needs being met but it all sounded like I was trying to write something all intelligent and insightful. It sucked.
Bottom line. My current Yob is not meeting my needs and that is a valid feeling. My other needs are met. I acknowledge that and am thankful for that. My aunt’s comment (and other similar ones) seems to invalidate my needs from the Esteem layer.
So, when I say, “Another 9.5 hours of my life I can’t get back,” I am just expressing my frustration at the end of a long, meaningless day and a long, mind-numbing commute. Nothing more.
Maslow and Me
I am in charge of my office’s weekly TPS* report (I’ll pause for the giggles…). The people I sit with forward me their bulleted achievements for the week, I cut and paste and then send the whole thing (usually four or five pages worth) to the program manager.
Last month, our program manager hired a person to “clean up” the TPS reports. She wants the four or five pages worth of bullets condensed down to one or two summary bullets. Pick one good one, expand on it and send that forward. Problem is, the “good one” would be what one person did and ignore the rest of us.
I really disagree with this and been having a small debate with her over it. No bullets means not very busy or productive and very easy to cut. This person will also be one of the first to point out who, to her, just doesn’t seem to do very much based on their TPS inputs.
*Not really called TPS report but you get the idea.
I am running the Maryland Half Marathon on May 31, 2009 for the University of Maryland’s Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. Check out my donation page either by clicking on the cool running guy in the left column or by clicking here. Thank you very much.