My father instilled in me a somewhat suspicious attitude regarding managerial types. He was a very good engineer at Boeing for 35 years and on occasion would come home after a long day and inform us that he had been offered a position in management, but had again told them to pound sand. It was just not in his nature to tell others what to do or how to perform their work. In his view, your work spoke for you. Results were what mattered, particularly in an exacting field like engineering, and if those results were not forthcoming, a manager was the last one you went to for a solution. He thought that once you removed yourself from the everyday hands on aspect of whatever job you were performing and concerned yourself more with managing those who performed it, your knowledge of that work and what it took to get it done steadily regressed until you became a detriment to the project. A negative factor inserted into the equation. An obsticle to be worked around rather than a part of the solution and he wanted no part of that.
The Mayor of our small town paid a visit to my office the other day and while she seemed a very impressive woman, running last November as an independent on a platform of pragmatic fiscal restraint after the previous democratic administration had broken ground on a new fifteen million dollar(?!) city hall to serve our hamlet of eight thousand, she was surrounded by the usual gaggle of brown nosing bureaucratic apparatchiks who answered every question put to them in the typical language that even small town politicians seem to either master quickly or were born with. That of the double speak, answering questions with questions, talking much but saying little, always with an eye on the boss to gauge her satisfaction or non-satisfaction with their level of obfuscation. The quintessential middle managers.
On occasion, when the sun is shining and I’m feeling especially optimistic, I think that maybe I should quit bitching in this blog space and actually go out and get involved in helping to get representatives that reflect my political views elected to local office. These optimistic moments are tempered however by scenes such as the one above and in the realization that to get involved would mean dealing with these middle managers of other people’s lives on a daily basis, and in the further realization that to join with them is to face the very real prospect of becoming them.
Bollocks to that.
Update: Hmm…the embed’s not working, but you can view the vid on youtube by hitting the link on the screen.