Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Working at a big company has some interesting features. Most of the processes and people are the organizational equivalent of a backhanded compliment. So:

The Good News. There's a guy for that. Whatever it is, someone owns it. Someone does it for a living. Graphics? Check. Writing? Check. Web site editing? A whole team. Search engine optimization? Yep. PR? 12 people. AR? There's a woman (Shout out SR!) who seems to care for us nonstop. All this used to be in my job. Or Marketing's job, when I wasn't marketing. Every word we wrote. Every blog we published. Every graphical decision - on my desk. Here, there's teams and teams and teams. Someone out there is going to keep us honest on our social media experience. I swear.

The Bad News. Every one of those people need YOUR help to do their job. Initially, you're all "Yay! You'll write me a whitepaper by July 5th? I LOVE YOU." And then they explain that you need to be interviewed, approve the outline, read the transcript, edit the paper, and so on. Hours. DAYS later, you have a whitepaper, and some part of you really wishes you wrote it yourself from the start. Same with EVERY area. Search terms? Fill out this form. Graphics? Let's set up an hour meeting.

The Good News. In theory, there are 100 clipboards out there to keep schedules, to do lists, and general order among the stupid. They make it their business to send out updates and reminders ALL FREAKIN' DAY.

The Bad News. Maybe I'm neurotic, but I generally feel like those lists are incomplete, inaccurate, or forgot something. So you always have to check the list. And then remind them to add something.

The Badder News. Your name is associated with 80% of the items on the list.

It comes down to being your own worst bottleneck. And every time you try to delegate some measure of the work, you end up cleaning up a bigger mess than if you had done it yourself. Only now, the volume is magnified by the capacity of hundreds of people with perhaps great functional expertise in graphics or search engines or web sites, but almost no content knowledge.

Sigh. Which is why I'm opening my laptop up to work again at 10:30 pm and putting away the curtain I was about to sew.

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