I was in a meeting yesterday which sums up much of my disdain for this place.
Including me, there were seven of us in the meeting. The meeting was called by someone else but supposedly was my meeting, though I get nothing out of it and generally feel as if I’m reporting to the headmaster.
In the meeting yesterday there were three people who didn’t say a word over the 35 minutes we were in the room. Two of them were the initial reason for the meeting. I was looking for assistance to help me manage the back-end of the chatbot and they were the best options – I didn’t need or want the others, but then mediocrity needs a quorum. That they said nothing surprised me not at all because that’s what they’ve done – nothing. That’s despite repeated requests and offers to sit with them, etc. They’re busy, I get that, but if they don’t come to the party then basically the whole point of it is moot to me. So they just sat there like stunned mullets.
The other silent visitor was someone who I don’t even know why she was there. Probably invited herself.
Then there were the two Ops managers, including my direct manager. They’ve shown no interest otherwise but put them in a meeting like this and they’re like a couple of government back-benchers sniffing a photo opportunity and willing to shoulder the other out of the way. They’re all smiles in front of the camera, but once it’s gone they couldn’t give a shit. It’s probably more acute in this industry, but they epitomise much of my experience with middle managers – mediocrities who think they’re more important than they are and always trying to prove it. They lack all self-awareness.
Give them a platform like this and they visibly inflate, but it’s all about them. They’re trying to sketch out their angle whilst seeming managerial.
There was another manager dialling in from Brisbane, but for him, the focus was on the work. He gave no thought to how he looked or how he might be able to leverage the situation. He’s a smart guy who feels no need to prove it. He’s solutions focussed, and though we sometimes disagree on what the best solution looks like I respect him. Furthermore, I can work with him because he doesn’t go away when the cameras do.
Then there was the digital manager, the guy I have a dotted line into for this project, basically there at my behest. I wanted him there because he could say things I couldn’t, and reinforce some key points. I’m junior to everyone at that meeting bar the silent ones, but he’s senior to all of them.
I’ve had my occasional issues with him – I don’t trust him altogether and think he’s manipulative with a good portion of wide boy in him, but he’s smart, smarter than most of them there, and though he’s running a strong agenda as well, his agenda boils down to getting the best result.
Finally, there’s me. You know how I feel, but I contain it pretty well. I’m very to the point. I’m always all about the work, though naturally, I have my own opinion of how that work should go. I’ve been trying to push that awhile, but against vested interests. I don’t bother with any fripperies because I don’t want to have that relationship with most of these people. I butt up against a few of them regularly and they generally know that I see things differently to what they do.
There’s one who has a smug manner and a permanent sneer. He likes brow-beat others to his way of thinking and is not above being sneaky and trying to arrange things to his advantage behind the back of others. Anyway, I refuse to submit to this character and so he knows we’re in opposite camps.
All of this explains a lot of what I feel here. I hate this rubbish, I hate how it makes me think these things, and I hate how it makes me feel. I’m a simple character these days. All I want to do is do the job to the best of my ability, but I’m unwilling to step aside from it. I don’t want anything to do with politics or petty ambitions but I have to deal with those things. I’m sick of the abject mediocrity and I’m all too aware of the absurdity of it all.
Half of me is utterly dismayed, and the other half laughing at the human comedy. It’s a bitter laugh though because it’s a dark comedy.