"Ruffled Feathers" Take 2

Subject: "Ruffled Feathers" Take 2
From: "McDonald, Guy A." <Guy -dot- A -dot- McDonald -at- usa -dot- conoco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2001 16:42:17 -0600

Enough already!

What a crock of horse manure Geoff. This whole thread stinks of everything
that makes otherwise healthy organizations sick.

"John Fleming unwittingly broke The Unwritten Rules:"

Wrong ... UNWRITTEN RULES = GROUPTHINK fueled by enmeshed individuals

"I think you need to be firm, but so firm that you're seen as striking back
<snip> you don't want to win such a crushing victory here that <blah blah
blah> Hopefully you know this manager well enough to know what path to

Now I am not picking on Geoff - we all know how great a guy he is and a
long-time solid contributor to this list. But, I do take offense to a
suggestion that "Skilled in the art of office politics" should be a bullet
on our résumés.

Most of us have at some point in our careers have experienced the short end
of the stick at unhealthy companies, departments or groups. There are
volumes written on organizational communication and management that all
hammer home one theme - squash such behaviors through training.

This forum provides us with the platform to share ideas and sometimes voice
disdain for accepted "best practices" disguised as advice to others. While
Geoff's solution may deal with the immediate need of work, it does not
address larger issues. I think we've all read similar threads to this one
where the consensus is ... if you are not in the position to effect change
across the organization then quietly leave to search for greener pastures.

Organizations laden with mindless administrative overhead in this business
fail. If the administrative function positively changes cost, schedule and
quality then I am all for it. When one or more of this triad's legs suffer
for sake of applying process control -- then I say reevaluate.

Managers, lead writers or supervisors who are "greenbeans" should never fall
into the trap of thinking their job is to control, conquer and divide.
Rather, they should wake up every day and redefine their role to support,
build up and add value to their charges. Go ahead greenbeans - buy a copy of
Aretha Franklin's "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" and play it full blast in your car on the
way in to work.

Tenured managers, lead writers or supervisors who are controlling, petty,
small-minded, insecure, back-stabbing, minions should just get run out of
the business. This type of individual is the kind who are beyond redemption
and have somehow risen the ranks to become negative contributors. Such types
of managers are nothing more than a blip on the radar screen of any
industry. Good people don't stick around to watch this kind of immature
so-called "professional" wreak havoc and destroy productivity - they move

My solution is to:

1. Run away from the bozo.
2. Open up your contact list and broadcast the name and location of the
circus where the clown currently plays.
3. Join underground closed-loop Techwriting lists like OffTopic and vent to
purge yourself of the experience.
4. Hug someone and forget about the whole nonsense.

The same solution can apply to certain chapters of IEEE, STC or other
professional organizations. And there is no reason to stop, scratch and
wonder ... just survey a few Little League, Scouts, PTA, School Board
meetings. Then sit down, write another management book for the pile and
discover the real meaning for the acronym "GDI".

Whew! That sure was therapeutic! (No offense intended to Geoff -- I just
needed to snorkel and ventilate)

Guy A. McDonald
Information Development Manager
Technical Information Architects, Inc.
7880 San Felipe Suite #200
Houston, Texas 77063
<mailto:gmcdonald -at- tiainfo -dot- com>
Direct 713.975.0081
Conoco office 281.293.6422
Fax 713.975.9812
Cell 281.935.0721


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