Monday, November 16, 2015

Well, Hello Mr. New Executive

A new member of the company’s executive team started today at work. (Because, you know, a company can never have enough executives.)

His first project is a fairly high priority action to coordinate some new product development, and as I'm managing the Information Technology department -- he wanted to meet on his first day and get status of some setup actions to support its progression.

I sent him a serious of emails, spreadsheets, and other such information that had occurred prior to his arrival, setup a meeting, and then dutifully showed up at the designated time. Thankfully, I remembered to bring my humility, and an ability to speak in full, clear sentences. (You know - neither run-on style, nor laden with parenthetical speak commentary... I can do it if I really, really concentrate... honest.)

He asked a number of questions, I answered with detail and managed a couple of jokes.
(Humor: it can warm and entrance, it can endear and engender positive thoughts, it can deflect and defend, or it can wound and hurt. Either of the middle two groupings in that list was fine with me. What the hell, the first one would’ve worked too.)

"Pink Slip" by Vincent Romaniello
"Sounds like you have it well in hand", he says, glancing towards the door giving an ever-so-subtle version of the universally recognized signal for "get out of my office now".
(I believe Amazon will be selling a handbook of these signals shortly. If you purchase it with the workplace humor book, "That's not Blood on the Slip, It's Just a Really Color Rich Version of Pink" - you'll save on shipping.)

We shook hands, both laughed as he said he had about 400 emails to read. "Welcome to your new job", I replied sardonically, and exited.

"That went fairly well, he seems reasonably cool", I said to myself under my breath, as I returned to my office and to fulfill my wage slavery responsibilities for the man.
(Oh, and to grasp the American dream. And pay bills. Wage slavery for the man, to fulfill the American dream, and pay bills. Purpose.)

About 30 minutes or so... and he was in my office with a question - apologizing for interrupting.

"That's okay, I'm just looking through resumes trying to hire a Network Operations Center Manager. You don't happen to know one do you?"

"None that I'd recommend, all I've done is fire them."

(I’m pretty sure my resulting “gasp” wasn’t audible, but it sure was loud in my head.)
My, now that's some intimidation technique. Well done.
(You know, if that was his plan. Was he kidding?)

(Barely disguised nervous laughter)
"Uh yeah, well... there you go!"
(More barely disguised nervous laughter, pregnant pause)
"... was it any of these?" handing him some of the resumes.
(Crossing my arms, and ever so slightly pleased with my "think on your feet" response.)

Laughing, he thumbed through quickly, and said "No. Good luck!"

He asked his question, I answered, he thanked me and left - and I turned back to my computer and found that my boss had just committed me to have all the budget projections and full uptime and status reports, including monthly and quarterly trend analysis, complete by the end of the week without checking on whether it was at all possible.
(Sigh.)

Just another day in the office...
(Note to self: check for that signal handbook at Amazon tomorrow. And keep practicing that full, clear sentence thing. And pay bills.)




originally written in 2005

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