autotelic, autistic, assonance-hole©.

Past the point of caring

Today was an unusually crap day and most of it was entirely self-inflicted. Well, ok, perhaps all of it.

It occurs to me that 99.999% of all “unhappy” I experience in life is directly due to me giving something more time, energy, and effort than it deserves or needs. I think this is kind of a realization only it recurs so much in life overall that it’s probably merely an intermittent thought. (sigh)

The part of me that has a need to be appreciated gets downright pissy when the most that others will permit me to do is their paperwork (paperwork they dislike doing or that they don’t deem important enough to do themselves). I sat and thought to myself, “Bad enough I fail at moving process maturity along, but now I find that the biggest contribution I can hope to make is doing someone’s paperwork?”

Then, of course, I remembered a string of recent events; like a little film, they played across my mind. The morning when I was informed scant half hour before an important meeting that I was cut from it because “I wasn’t needed.” (As if THAT has not been hammered without mercy into my brain.) The times when any number of people have felt perfectly content and even justified in telling me that my area of speciality, the thing I do best and the thing for which they hired me “isn’t necessary”, “isn’t really that important”, “can be managed without me”, or, worst of all, “is just pointless.” (Tell that to the IIBAP, Gartner, Forrester, the PMI, and oh, I dunno, every other authority on effective analysis, process, and risk management on the planet.)

I keep telling myself that it isn’t MY failing. I can point to any number of reasons, all of which are backed by significant tomes and reams of professional study and evidence demonstrating that the single greatest killer of organizational maturation is the odd combination of cultural dysfunction and passive-aggressive behaviors rife in the place. But there’s still part of me that feels like I should be able to make a difference and that just doesn’t get how or why logic, reason, research, and a lack of personal opinion can possibly wind up so consistently branded as its opposite; how this much effort in keeping “my opinion” out of things can possibly wind up being labeled precisely that and treated as if nothing more.

Sometimes, I have to just go outside so I can remind myself that yes, actually, the sky really IS blue.

But I think the kicker was having someone actually put in writing that (and, sadly, I am quoting here), “The company will never value her as she desires.”

I reckon I could say a lot about that statement, but I think that statement pretty much says all that needs saying on the matter of how distressingly jacked up is the situation. The part that really makes me angry though, has nothing to do with any of that.

The part that makes me angry is that I was all pathetically, puppy-dog happy to have someone actually want me to help. I guess after months of being ignored and denigrated for the sacriledge of insisting on consistency, seeking to instill thoroughness, trying to do my job despite being stymied and stalled and frankly, outright dismissed and ignored except to condemn me as lacking “communication skills”, I am kind of angry at myself for feeling happy that I got to actually do something productive and helpful….. even if it is just paperwork that no one else wants to have to do.

There. See? A grand example of giving more time, energy, and thought to something than it deserves. I have known for some time now that, without significant change, there is a stormcloud coming that I do not need to be present to witness.

I have also known that the things that drew me, attracted me, and incented me to turn down four other companies in 2008 and two more besides in late 2009 are about as substantial in this place as mist over a lake.

I have known that there are a variety of things coming “down the pike” that are either going to take control on any level from the mix or introduce a level of external directive that makes every aspect of my aspirations in this context utterly and irrevocably moot.

But I am just that stubborn and just that interested in the place, the people, and the products, that, despite all of this, I have stayed. I have tried. Damn it all, I have CRIED.

Yes, I admit, I was just that ridiculous as to think that maybe I could contribute, help effect change and process maturity and be part of creating more than more of the same ‘ol crisis as constant; that I could actually help foster growth and adoption so all those wasted dollars could go into our coffers, our bonuses, and relieve us all by helping us work smarter so we wouldn’t have to keep bleeding ourselves out trying to work harder.

But even I can’t ignore that quote.

One that, may I mention, is but the latest in a string of many along similar lines.

And I can’t ignore the last months of watching and hearing things happening all around me that cough, wheeze, and stumble for lack of what I am supposed to provide and never, not even once, does anyone as much as see it, admit it, accept it, or seek to improve it. In fact, when I eventually point back to the risks of this happening and the repeated requests to please let me participate, contribute, help, and do my job (!!) all I have netted is naught but annoyed insistence that it (and I) simply are not needed.

All the slippages, all the errors resulting from incomplete and assumptive design, all the exponentially increased costs of development, missed dates, and to top it off, a list of “known issues” longer than both my arms. Apparently all of this history STILL is not evidence enough that the way things are happening might need a bit of help, a bit of process maturity.

Dare I try to present the cost analysis for how this is obliterating projected budget or how that obliteration impacts everything (i.e., all else that is supposed to be getting done)? Of course not… that’s just being negative.

Funny, the rest of the world calls it “making the case for change”, you know… business analysis, proof of concept, and evidence of organizational dysfunction.

But then, I realize, I’m being stupid; the entire point in this is that they don’t know what it is, what it means, why it happens, what it costs. Nor do they see what change will bring in benefit, or why it matters; they surely, surely do not want to figure it out. Why? Well, that’s the saddest part of all — they’d rather keep making the same mistakes than admit it is a mistake.

Which is why, in the end, this doesn’t deserve my time, energy, or effort. If it’s just not important to them, why on earth should it be important to me?

Can you think of a single reason? Because I’m past scraping the bottom of the barrel; in fact, I think I just rudely poked someone in China.