Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jam, the Consultant

After a project founders for a few weeks or months, the management team will often get together to consider how best to assign blame. When multiple layers of management exist, each upper layer will look to the next layer below and affix the blame there, calling it a crisis of leadership, a failure to inspire, as if all work springs forth from a desire to please the boss man. And this pile of blame tumbles down hill until it lands on the immediate supervisor, in this case, Willow, who has no to blame except me, and that excuse is now worn out.

In such cases, the immediate supervisor will, if she is smart, bring in a consultant to prove that the problems are technical in nature (and deceptively difficult) and certainly not due to a failure of leadership. Such consultants are usually young, energetic and devious. And so, this morning, Jam the consultant came to visit the work site.

Oh yes, Jam was friendly and polite to me, like a good son eager for some advice from his good old dad. I showed him the bathroom and explained how we have been so busy for the past few months and how not much has gotten done. But he just stared at me with big eyes and peppered me with questions, one after another, and of course I knew what he was doing, playing with me like I was the child, like I was a spoiled kid who needed to quit stalling and clean his bedroom.

So I explained about how the tiles will be set on the wall so that they are level and so that the bottom row will fit in above the bathtub in all places, nicely and with no awkward gaps.

And yes, I answered, we could put up the first batten piece now--there's no reason to wait...

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