Rushing to the flags

by hulk

I still haven’t graduated from high school. Oh sure, it was 5 years ago, and they gave me a nice neat diploma with my name on it, but I don’t think I’ve left. I still see drama queens, men rushing around showing off their muscles, their power, expecting you to be impressed by their mental prowess, position, “knowledge”, title, who they know, how many years they’ve been there. I can’t say much about the women because their simply aren’t many that I see day to day, except the ones outside my group kinda suck just as bad as the men they work with. So it’s equal opportunity sucking. Oh and it sure does cross ethnicities too, not that I ever bought into the white-guilt hooey that anyone who isn’t white is all diverse and special and should be treated differently.

I’ve just spent a week in a six sigma class in which I’m supposed to be impressed by the Master Black Belts, and I worked in a group with one of them. He’s a fraud. If he’s supposed to have ultimate knowledge of six sigma then I weep for six sigma. It has such promise, and yet it’s already being adulterated. It’s been adopted by upper management. They’ve thrown out all the parts involving hard work, the stuff in which you have an in-depth understanding of why and how to do six sigma. If you don’t know why, then you don’t know when to use tools and when not to use tools, and what the tools really mean. It becomes cookbook, where no one is expected to think, just do, action action action, and would you please look this way dear and makeup! get over here and powder her face again she needs to look perfect for this shot.

It becomes a special club where you have to know the right people and play the right golf game to get in, it doesn’t matter how competent you are as long as you’re buddy buddy with your boss’s boss, you’ll move up and get that title of Master Black Belt. Hey, why do the work? Let the computer fill it out for you, let the underlings do it, you’re busy making the high level important decisions. While you’re at it send out another inspiring email about how proud the employees should be to work here, and by the way there still will be no reimbursement for travel below the middle manager level. We all need to make sacrifices!

I’ve deviated from my point. Rushing to flags. While I was at six sigma class all week, my process at work got interfered with. The two messages coming from the program folks are:

  1. The parts aren’t good enough
  2. we need more of them because we’re going to run out.

Let’s have meetings each day this week, so we can sit around and talk about how busy we are putting out fires and how wounded we are that these parts aren’t good enough and by the way good job we appreciate all your help please send a message to china that they need help because their equipment is shit. Their words, not mine, in case you’re wondering. So let’s go fight the good fight with the manufacturing folks before they start a disaster over the part quality and don’t worry we’ll cover up your mistakes for you.

Then I begin to wonder why these people are even involved, considering they aren’t the internal customer or the internal customer’s boss and they’re supposed to be devoting all their time to a completely different problem. It’s no longer a question why they’re so “busy.” They’re fighting fires. Jumping on whichever project has a “problem” and doing action until a manager notices and says good boy, then they can abandon the project and move on, and if anyone asks they’ll probably say “I was never part of that project. Don’t blame me for your problems!”

My point is that these people are rushing to their flags. Uttering rhetoric as if they’re in a battle, speaking of conflict with other people and organizations and how they have to flex their power within the company to win. It’s rather silly. I see people on several projects squandering their mental energy on how to fight with other organizations and defend their project and save this project and put out that fire and I wanna scream YOU ALL SHUFFLE PAPER! THAT’S ALL ANY OF YOU DO! Some of them come up with useful material despite themselves but most of them spend the day either in a meeting or preparing for another meeting. Paper-shufflers all! I sit in the six sigma class and people introduce themselves, speaking of which organization they represent and how they’re there to help the class along and represent their group and I’m thinking… It’s a class! Sit down, shut up and learn! Where does “representing such-and-such” fit into a classroom?! Why does such-and-such need to be “represented”, and what does that even mean?! Why are you all jumping over your own feet to claim the spotlight in the class and talk about your project which has no meaning to anyone in the room but yourself! AUGGGGHHHH!!

They rush to flags. It’s high school. They think the only way to make their lives meaningful is to dramaticize it. I sit in a lab and I play with rubber. I like it. I don’t need to make it sound as if I single-handedly saved the company and fought battles. If I were them, I would. Rush to the flag, men. Stand behind it. Beat the drum. Destroy the other flags! Defend your tribe against all! We are at war!

And all I see is an annoying group of men arguing over some transparencies.