Friday, September 07, 2007

The Fat Controller

So it turns out that it int that bad here after all. Yep, it isn't exactly an episode of TISWAS in here, but there's a kind of stately predictability to the proceedings which mean that, whilst it's unexciting, it is, at least, consistently unexciting.

So far the work has been fairly straightforward: cone binding 40 documents, taking minutes from meetings populated exclusively by men with mortgages and moustaches, and arranging travel for people testing trains in hick towns 5 hours out of Sydney.

The environment is still unswervingly corporate, however. We work in veal fattening pens, latticed across the open-plan floor like some ultra-tedious Su-Do-Ku. The white plastered walls are adorned with A4 printouts of dislocated managementspeak. Isolated paper islands, attached to nothing, a propos of nothing, with stark phrases blasted across the front in Times New Roman, font size 45. "Feasibility" says one. "High Complexity" says another. "Eh?" says me.

And there are layers and layers of management here and I don't really know what any of them do. All appear to be indistiguishable and interchangeable; there's a manager and a general manager and a group general manager. There's an executive officer, a project officer and an enhancement officer. There's a business intelligence specialist, a solutions architect and portfolio analyst. Readily, I'll admit I've never worked in an environment so corporate, but I can't help feeling that this company is like some kind of administrative souffle; pop it and it'll sag; let the air out and watch it deflate. It doesn't really consist of anything.

Everything is incredibly process driven, too. Last week I was tasked with creating A5 booklets that had to be stapled in the middle. The problem was, however, there was no stapler in the entire football-pitched sized office long enough to reach half-way across to the centre of the page.

"Shall I just go out and buy a longer one and put it on expenses?" I asked. That's what I would have done at Drum. Eavesie once sent me out to Hamleys on Regent St to buy a giant Scalectrix for a prize on the Guardian Sports Show without so much as a whiff of a purchase order or prior approval form. But my request to simply purchase one was met with a reaction of disbelief. I might as well have asked if I could borrow the company card to go on a bender involving limo hire, 8 Magnums of Dom Perignon and a high-class hooker.

No, instead, I spent my afternoon scouring the 56456 acre office floor looking for a long stapler. And when I finally found one its owner said, pointedly "Make sure you bring it back".

But, you know what, it's not all that bad. I've got an awful lot of time on my hands, hence my prolific blog authorship of late. And, hey, you keep reading it, then I'll keep writing it.

1 comment:

bone said...

very good, made me laugh that one, keep it up!