I wrote quite a lengthy post for my blog about how stupid the bean counters at work are at the moment. I am supposed to be in Singapore right now, attending a very important training course. I couldn’t get permission to go – everyone up the chain in the organisation supported it, but the bean-counters said no.
It was going to cost $1500 – nothing really, but as it turned out, it wasn’t about the money – it was a bit more political than that, and no amount of reasoning was going to change their mind.
I was livid when my request got rejected (on Wednesday that was – I was due to fly yesterday).
Fortunately, I was able to speak with some of my management team who had been involved in the negotiations, and they explained the behind-the-scenes stuff that was going on. They also tried to find alternative sources of funding to make it happen, but it was just too late by this point.
There was a chance even up to about midday yesterday that I would be able to go, but that time came and went without success.
Most rational people would tell me I seriously over-reacted to this rejection, and I would be the first to agree. I took it personally but it wasn’t because of me, or anything we are trying to do. It was simply senior management taking a hard-line on expenses at the moment (which I understand, but think in some cases is rather short sighted).
The problem for me is that even with the rational viewpoint, I do take this stuff extremely personally. I do my job because I enjoy what I do. If it was no longer enjoyable I would leave. The most critical part of my job to me is the teaching part (must be in the blood). I put in a lot of effort to work with the various stake-holders in working out an enablement plan for a new product release, getting the material and skills myself, then preparing and running classes for our business partners and technical community.
When I am teaching, I do so with passion and enthusiasm. It’s what I do – not intentionally, but because it’s the only way I know how. So when I get told by someone who doesn’t have a clue that I can’t do my job, I take it very personally. All my careful planning, negotiating and strategy goes out the window because someone decides to draw a line in the sand about expenses (despite a mandate for me to travel to get the skills I need).
I used the phrase “kicking kittens” to describe my mood because that’s what I felt like doing. Unfortunately, my wife pointed out to me later that we don’t like cats (bird eaters) so it wouldn’t matter if I killed a few, and so I suggested perhaps I should change it to “kicking puppies” – to which she responded “oh no, not the poor little beagles !” (her sister has beagles, which they raised from puppies). Either way, it was only metaphorical, as much as I dislike cats, I would never perform such brutal acts towards them. Humane death is far preferable.
Anyway, I’m sure people will read this and wonder what I’m on, because it really doesn’t make much sense. I know, but I’m in a writing mood and haven’t done much blogging of late, so I’m just writing to try and empty my head a little.
I don’t know how my original post on Wednesday would have ended up had I not thought better and actually finished it. Put it this way – it has taken two days for me to really recover from the whole thing – this is how angry it all made me. I really don’t expect anyone reading this to understand – I haven’t told the whole story – don’t have the energy, so you’re only getting bits of it in a rather disjointed way.
I guess this is kind of like a dear-diary type entry, just pouring things out, trying to purge them from my system so I can get on with what’s important.
I’ll just finish up with an observation.
When I do something I believe in, I do it with passion and enthusiasm – I take the ball and run with it as hard and as far as I can. That’s just who I am. If someone comes along and tells me I can’t do that any more – all of a sudden, it is no longer fun. If someone makes it too hard for me to do what I do best (everyone tells me I do a great job, so I’m assuming it’s all good), then there’s no point in doing it – my energies would be much better directed into something else.