Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Diary of a Useless Manager - Upgrading the Scholar Wall

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is NOT my diary. This is just a fictional story of an useless little manager working in a large local organisation. If you work in a large local organisation and find this figure looking suspiciously like your manager, it is only because these useless managers breed freely in large local organisations and the only way to stop them is to remove their stable diet - their subordinates.

We have this gigantic celling-to-floor Scholar Wall at the lobby which greets everyone as they take the lift to work everyday. It has little circular photographs of our scholars all over the wall. It is really a great wall that honors our scholars and their great contribution of... of... of great researches.

However, since I was here, I've also noticed that the wall has not been well maintained. The silver words "Our Scholars" right at the top are not so shiny anymore. Someone from Facilities should talk to the cleaners. Also, the color on most of the photographs seem to have faded. This is a really serious negligence and I had to book an urgent meeting with my boss to talk about it.

My boss too agreed that most of the photographs have already faded from color into gray and white and should have been replaced. And since I was the one who took the initiative to bring it up, the important task of replacing the photographs fell on my laps. Thrilled, I informed one of my gals about this great task. But for some unknown reasons, she didn't seem very happy to locate all the scholars in the organisations and approach them for new photographs. Well, she should be! It was an honorable task!

A couple of days later, she sent me the photographs and a scholars name list. To my surprise, a lot of the scholars have left the organisation so she couldn't get their photographs. This is something I can never understand. Why will a scholar ever want to leave the organisation? The pay is great, the career path is even greater, and all he/she needs to do is research! I will retire here if I'm a scholar! Anyway, I couldn't ask Facilities to replace the photographs else there will be lots of empty circles on the wall. So I requested for an urgent meeting with my boss to sort it out.

Of course I went to the meeting with a couple of suggestions. I suggested putting up photographs of to-be-scholars who are still studying overseas, but my boss's concern was what if they break their contracts, or run around naked in Holland Village, or get arrested for children porn. Then I suggested filling up the empty circles with photographs of management staff like myself (that was secretly my favourite suggestion), but that will mean the silver words "Our Scholars" have to be replaced and my boss was concerned with the cost. Finally, I suggested filling up the gaps with text listing our achievements, but my boss was concerned that there might not be enough to fill up the gaps, even if we were to put in "Others" achievements like "100% Attendance in the YOG events by all staff". Well, we can always make the font size super big, but that might not look nice on the wall.

So at the end of the meeting, my boss patted me on the shoulder and said,"It's okay, we'll just leave the wall as it is now, and we'll see to it again next quarter."

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