Ivory Tower Inc.

Scott Adams' primary source for material...

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Welcome to Ivory Tower Inc.

Ivory Tower Inc. is an organization buried deep in the bowels of a state government that has something somewhat to do with education. There are all kinds of bizarre things that go on here at Ivory Tower Inc. Nothing illegal that I'm aware of but there must be something in the water that leads some people to make some very interesting decisions.

Let's get some definitions outta the way:

  • Ivory Tower Inc: umm...read the first paragraph.
  • ITE: Ivory Tower Elitist, those who THINK they know something when in fact that know very little.
  • PHB: shamelessly stolen from Dilbert. Pointy Haired Boss. Could be anyone in authority here at Ivory Tower Inc but usually is just one person in particular.
  • KR: Poor defeated web developer. REALLY knows his stuff but unfortunately can't SHOW it because his PHB is a ...well...you'll see.
  • Deepthroat: This is a programmer who is in a similiar position of KR.
  • Dances with Logic: Former Chief Executive for another organization now working here at Ivory Tower Inc.

Other characters may come into play as we move along. Until then...enjoy.

What is wrong with this picture?

Okay…so you have an organization with plenty of talented people that perform a certain function. Let’s say that function is Widget building. The PHB of this organization is in desperately over his head. He can’t manage his people because he has no idea what Widget building is about. When he realizes he doesn’t understand the Widget building business he decides to micromanage the whole process. When that fails….he hands over the whole thing to contractors relegating his talented staff to nothing more than spectators. sigh…such is life at Ivory Tower Inc.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Overpaid Projector Operator

Apparently that’s me. Big meeting today here at Ivory Tower Inc. Lots of powerpointin’ going on. When my staff setup the various projectors we set it all up, test it, and leave the correct “powerpoint” displaying and depending on the agenda we may just turn off the projector. When the time comes for the pontificatin’ and presentin’ all the ITE has to do is PUSH THE FRIGGIN BUTTON. That’s it. Phone call…

  • Me: Hello?
  • ITE: Hey, can you come and turn the projector on?
  • Me: You can’t be serious…
  • ITE: Well…we don’t want to screw it up…please?

Geesh…I guess it’s okay for ME to screw it up. Guess I should be flattered that they think so highly of me that they want ME to push the button. Never mind the fact that I’m writing several new policies, finishing up the latest incident reports, and reviewing firewall logs.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Things that really bug me...

Okay…so I’m late in posting this but it’s been weighing on my mind for a while.

I have this friend (KR) who works at a certain place. My friend’s boss (PHB) is a very intelligent person with a PhD in a certian discipline that has nothing to do with what this person does to oversee my friend’s job performance. Recently the PHB sat KR down and told KR that KR shouldn’t write things about the workplace on KR’s blog…actually threatened KR’s employment in that thickly veiled way that PHB learned at PHB’s previous employer. Now, the entry in question was hardly derogatory to the workplace and KR later actually made light of it after receiving a promotion! Still PHB saw fit to make a fuss. Why? Could it be that KR tries to do the RIGHT thing in an environment where the RIGHT thing is rarely done? Could it be that KR knows the business for which KR was hired and PHB has no copulating idea? Could it be that PHB already feels threatened because the rest of the staff fully understands that PHB has reached the peak of PHB’s abilities and is now on the downward spiral? Or…could it simply be that PHB is a micromanaging twit who doesn’t know excrement from shinola and when KR says, “No wait! THAT’s the Shinola!” PHB get’s all worked up and lashes out as best PHB can.

Well, PHB, I think I know what the deal is and it’s been played out now for a couple weeks. I actually feel sorry for you because you are in way over your head and much…very much…is on the line. But…fear not…retirement is around the corner and perhaps those higher than you will find someone to actually DO your job rather than just meeting and talking about it.