Monday, June 4, 2012

Corporate Mumbo-Jumbo

I am currently working on the biggest project I’ve ever been involved in. Now, considering my professional life so far, that doesn’t necessarily mean very much. After all, my definition of a ‘big project’ pretty much comes down to whether or not it needs more than one office. Quite often, a shared desk will be just fine. Not so in this case – several floors in several different buildings are needed. In fact, this project is large enough to have a social media policy – albeit a somewhat unclear one – which is why I won’t mention any names. Just to be safe. However, if I tell you that I’m going to be quite busy in July and August, and that my commute will take me to East London, I’m sure you’ll be able to add things up correctly.
In many ways this project is unlike anything I’ve ever worked on. And it’s actually not because of the content. No, it seems that it all boils down to size. Amount of employees, number of offices, scale of budgets. And many of the differences leave me quite puzzled, to be honest. Why is it, that as soon as a company becomes big enough to have electronic access cards and intranet systems, things become inefficient? Suddenly they pay people to put common sense into a PowerPoint presentation and make it look like rocket science. And, even worse, they make people like myself sit through entirely too many of said presentations, resulting in confusion and self-doubt – because I seem to be the only person in the room who thinks that it is complete and utter [insert swearword of choice here]. Not to mention a waste of time. And why is it, that even though you have a lovely Outlook calendar that keeps track of all your meetings, it seems completely impossible to actually keep these meetings within the allotted time slot? What I have previously known to be poor planning or lack of time management – or simply too much chit-chat – suddenly fits into the seemingly limitless category of busy. And it makes me want to stand up and do my best Carrie Bradshaw-impression: Oh you’re so busy. You’re soooo BUSY!    
But in all honesty: Carrie-impressions, PowerPoint and Outlook aside – I am quite enjoying my brush with the corporate world. Yes, it puzzles me. And yes, it frustrates me. But more than anything, it makes me feel like we’re all playing dress-up. Like we’re pretending to be adults, throwing around all this corporate mumbo-jumbo, scheduling meetings and clattering about in high heels or pointy leather shoes. And since there is very little I can do about the things that frustrate me, I am going to embrace my corporate career for as long as it lasts. I am going to proudly dangle that access card as I pop down to the mall for lunch. I will try not to judge the poor fellow with the ridiculous PowerPoint presentation. I will do my best to keep my are-you-serious-about-this-outbursts to a minimum. And I will save the Carrie-impression for after work. Because I know, that in a few months I will return to my charming little office. I will go back to my beloved performing arts. I will enjoy the complete lack of PowerPoint presentations and corporate catchphrases. And my brief stint in Canary Wharf will become a distant memory. Oh, and in between? That’s where the real fun is. That’s when we make it happen: that tiny little event that is the sole reason for all this madness… 

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