"Ruffled Feathers" Take 2

Subject: "Ruffled Feathers" Take 2
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 08:59:43 -0500

Guy McDonald replies to my previous point: <<What a crock of horse manure
Geoff. This whole thread stinks of everything that makes otherwise healthy
organizations sick.>>

In the words of the old joke on how policy is formed: "Mr. President, 'tis a
powerful fertilizer that promoteth growth." <g>

<<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.>>

Perhaps it shouldn't, but on the other hand, I've discovered that we humans
become strongly political animals as soon as we gather together in flocks of
more than two. For those of us who want to be comfortable in those flocks,
the art of politics becomes a helpful tool for smoothing out the rough
patches in daily life. (Which reminds me; time to reread Machiavelli... <g>)

<<While Geoff's solution may deal with the immediate need of work, it does
not address larger issues.>>

Indeed not, and that was not the point of my posting. The original poster
wanted immediate advice for a single situation. But the long-term solution
arises from the short-term solution: once you've got your politics in place,
you can start thinking about longer-term changes. That's not to say you can
achieve them, but at least you'll have leeway to try.

<<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.>>

Amen to that. But when you fall under the shadow of such a manager, you
still need to figure out how to divert all that energy into useful
directions. Aesop's parable about the sun and the wind speaks clearly to
this: you can try to force change, or you can gently encourage it. Neither
guarantees success, and sometimes you do have to take your skills elsewhere,
where they'll be better respected.

<<No offense intended to Geoff -- I just needed to snorkel and ventilate>>

None taken. I sometimes think I create the image that I'm Mr. Rogers when it
comes to work issues, and most of my colleagues would fall down laughing at
the mere notion. Sadly, "virtual Geoff" is a lot easier to get along with
than real-world Geoff.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"I vowed [that] if I complained about things more than three times, I had to
do something about it."--Jon Shear


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