Friday, February 22, 2013

Writing on the Job

Hey, don't mind the delay....I've just been lost in management hell.

Not sure about outside the government, but here in the Bowels of Bureacracy, "management hell" is the perfect storm of reviewing promotion packages and writing mid-term evaluations. Lest you think that's still "not too bad," remember that the Laws of Bureaucracy require each action to be accompanied by an arcane set of rules, multiple forms, and multiple levels of review.

Needless to say, all of this takes up most of February (at least if you're like me and have a good bit of people underneath you in the organizational chart).

In a way feedback on a promotion package can dovetail quite nicely into a mid-term evaluation because you can provide an employee opportunities to accept more responsibility in your organization if they don't like where they fall out in the mix of things.Unfortunately, even there you have to abide by the rule that you must break up the conversation into two separate conversations and get confirmation that the employee understands that it's two separate conversations. Not to mention, by the end of February supervisors are so addled-brained with this whole process, they can barely string words together or if they do it sounds like buzzword gumbo.

The good news...I'm writing.

The bad news...I'm not writing romance novels like I want.

Saying evaluation and promotion feedback is writing is like saying your letter to the editor counts as a publishing credit.

I did get a letter to the editor recently published though. Just saying. It's my name in print in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of the Atlantic.Go ahead, look it up. I mean, it's still kinda cool that they thought my bitching was worthwhile enough to be considered for "The Conversation."

But anyway..."Writing on the Job"...doesn't that sound illicit? It would be if I could squirrel away enough time to pound out a chapter of erotic romance.

The fact is I do count this management hell as writing, even storytelling. How else do you capture what you've done in the last year for a wider audience, particularly when you're in a technical field like me and my employees? You have to get them with a hook!!

A quick lesson I gave my employees:

DON'T WRITE:  "I mowed the lawn."
DO WRITE:  "Tall grass was allowing gremlins to sneak into our house and break shit, so I mowed the lawn decreasing gremlin population in our house by 99.9%."

When management sees this, they're totally like "holy shit, gremlins!!!"  I kid you not, this is true. 

Not everyone can do this, which is why in my own promotion package I specifically pointed to my pursuit of a Degree in Writing Popular Fiction as a HUGE benefit for government as a whole.

Cue sly eyebrow raise & delicious grin.......mmhmmmm..........All of leadership should fear the gremlins!

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