Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Unauthorized Expertise

My new workplace is an odd mixture of high-end research and bureaucracy that would make Dilbert himself blanch. The other day a manager told one of my colleagues (who has a PhD in computer science and is a co-PI on our grant) that he wasn't supposed to "waste time" developing expertise on some piece of software that had not been officially approved. That led me to create the sign below, of which I must say I'm pretty proud. Although it doesn't bode well for me fitting into the corporate culture.

4 comments:

AMcGuinn said...

How very Principia Discordia

Though I assumed from the title you were discussing this story

fsascott said...

Re - "some piece of software that had not been officially approved"- I'm reminded of an episode in the life of one of my uncles, who was an M.D. and a professor of medicine. He was on the board of the American Red Cross, and while attending a dinner meeting of that organization, one of his colleagues, who was sitting next to him, began to choke on a piece of food. My uncle quickly administered the Heimlich maneuver. The colleague coughed up the offending morsel forthwith.

My uncle's fellow board members were aghast, because at that time the American Red Cross had not officially approved the Heimlich maneuver. The Red Cross first aid protocols still called for slapping the back of a choking person. One of the board members reproached my uncle and asked him what he would have done if the Heimlich maneuver failed. He responded by pilling out his pocket knife and saying, "I'd have performed a tracheotomy in seconds."

Not long afterwards, the American Red Cross officially approved the Heimlich maneuver.

hoyhoy said...

OH MY GOD, LABOR IS STARTING TO EXHIBIT AUTONOMY! You should fire that manager for impeding dissensus and being a fetishist of organizational form!

TGGP said...

I chuckled. Also, what AMcGuinn said.