Monday, November 16, 2009

the new clipboard people

Well, fellow thongcharmers, I promised an update on the new clipboard people. My new clipboard friends, we shall call them the southern clipboards, start with the following principle: "I am not a clipboard person."

Now, I should start by stating that the other clipboards, the northern clipboards, are the ones which work for the full government-like beauracracy. At best, they are motivated, hard working employees. In general though - you could view them as a beating pulse, a warm body. They view the company as a place to come to work, sneak free cookies and do whatever is required to not get fired. Correspondingly, the company views them paternalistically, an expendable resource to cut when hard times require it. As one might imagine, this system does breed utter mediocrity.

So back to the southern clipboards. Now these folks want nothing to do with "beauracracy". The problem is -- they take it too far.

In the North, I give you a clipboard person with a spreadsheet that gets updated every week of the year, has 25 tabs and requires 5 minutes to load. It does, however, track EVERYTHING.

In the South, I give you someone who will begin every discussion with a recap of the Cowboys game and views anything in Excel as beauracracy. However they will happily accept a three-inch binder that could have been turned into an Excel file of 3 pages. As long as they can discuss the Cowboys.

In the North, I give you someone who requires a documented response to the email "projrect 9-090.99ka requires funding source for $125k - Urgent". Someone for whom a documented training course to learn a new web-based expense entry system is required.

In the South, I give you someone who naively wanders the hallways, cutting deals with his brethren while discussing Giants games, hopefully remembering what they said by the time they got back to their desk. There aren't even post-it notes.

So quite simply what I have is a disaster. Neither system accomplishes much. The one creates needless makework of limited value (the definition of beaureaucracy). The other creates a completely person-based system of getting work done, of slightly higher sophistication than ordering a cake from stop & shop, which, because there aren't even post-it notes, are quite possibly of a lower operational caliber than the peruvian airline we took last year.

Yegads. I just can't win.


Capt. BS said...

Perhaps the aliens are responsible for all of the inefficiency... This is not a coincidence, ladies and gentlemen!

Meanwhile, back on planet earth, I smell the inevitability of a civil war.

Lilac - Like The Flower said...

Hmm. Both groups do nothing. Maybe just call it an upside that you wont get those emails anymore?