Friday, June 22, 2012

Obama at the Bat...

Oh, it's going to be an interesting election season!

Hotel Astoria... St. Petersburg, Russia.  About 10 years ago, I stayed here on two separate business trips, visiting a software development subsidiary of the U.S. company that I worked for.

The hotel was gorgeous, and ridiculously luxurious (though this was very adequately reflected in the room rate).  I greatly enjoyed walking around the nearby parts of the city, especially the almost adjacent large park and the naval museum.  In the latter, within minutes of my arrival staff had identified me as American, had someone out to interview me, and (most surprising to me) after getting my name they quickly identified me as a former U.S. Navy member – right down to my “rate” (my job), rank, and major duty stations.

But the most vivid memory I have of these two trips where I stayed at the Astoria was is this: the disjoint between the luxury of my lodgings and the shabbiness of our subsidiary's offices.  This was only exacerbated by my discovery (through conversations with our employees there) that our workers thought of our office building as rather grand and even a bit ostentatious.  For the couple of weeks (between the two trips) that I stayed there, I found this daily context switch between the hotel and the office very strange indeed...

89 Cliches...

Anyone who has worked with executives of the MBA variety has almost certainly run into at least a few of the cliche-spouting ignoramus variety.  These folks have risen to positions of power, sometimes as the executive in charge of hundreds or even thousands of employees.  Working with one of these people, if you're not one of them, can be highly entertaining.  It can also be awesomely frustrating, as you try to get something done but find the path to achievement blocked by an immovable boulder of ignorance.

The “cliche-spouting” seems to be more than a pattern – it's a practically infallible “tell”, a signal that raises the hackles of anyone experienced in the ways of the pointy-haired boss.  If that describes you, then you'll find this article very funny.  At least at first.  After that, you may (like me) find yourself reminded of unhappy and frustrating past experience.  For me, painful memories of a past boss (a CEO) came right to mind, in which I re-experienced things I'd rather not have re-experienced.  You were warned :-)

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