Thursday, May 2, 2013

Déjà Vu All Over Again

So, finally I'm getting to the central thesis of my keynote, and to the main thing that I've learned in the two years since I've moved from mere plebeian to actual minion. And that is: management and staff aren't as different from each other is they think. In fact, they're exactly the same.

I know, it's not really that stunning of a revelation, but it never really hit me until I moved into my current position. I sit in a unique place in our organization and that gives me a rather unique perspective. Although I'm not in a management classification, one of my jobs is, well, managing the managers, specifically when it comes to projects. On the other hand, since I'm still technically staff, the technical folks still let me hang out at the watercooler*.

So I get to see and hear firsthand both the management and staff perspectives. And although they often couldn't be more different, what I've learned is as much as we may distrust and misunderstand each other, we're really not that different. In fact, we're all here to do the exact same job: provide technology services to support the mission of higher education. I personally think that's a lot more important than our petty distrust of each other.

*We actually have a Jabber chat room called "the watercooler" where some of the technical staff hang out. Occasionally, actual work gets done in the watercooler, but it's really more of a place where people attempt to demonstrate how witty they are. The average snark level in the watercooler is slightly higher than the LD50 for a normal human being.

P.S. Oh, and notice how I spared Prophead from being an attendee in the project management meeting? He only wishes he was so lucky in real life. Sucka.

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