Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When Office Politics Fail

Don’t you just love office politics? Those annoying little things that just get under your skin. Thinking one thing while expressing another in order to accomplish your goals. The only thing worse is when you have to play politics with people who micromanage and don’t let anyone under their command actually be involved in any of the decision making process. All decisions on all matters must cross a singular desk where they bottleneck and start backing up and affecting all maters material to that division as well as some that aren’t … in other words, everybody in the organization starts to get a little irritated with said division that can’t seem to accomplish anything because everything comes to a screeching halt due to egotism and micromanagement.

That being said, I generally try to refrain from writing things on here that could inevitably get me in trouble, but this time I am making an exception because I really don’t care if I get called on the carpet on this matter. I’m willing to share my opinion and take my punishment if necessary.

Each fall at our small, faith-based university we have a new student orientation weekend named with a Greek term meaning "fellowship." The last few years the person in charge of this weekend, whose office just happens to fall under a major micromanager, has been polling the students to get a better feel for what could be done to improve the event which officially opens each new school year. The main knock on the orientation is that it feels too much like church camp. Needless to say, the school’s response is to try to make it feel more “collegiate” and less “churchy.”

This August marks the beginning of our centennial year and the person who is presumably in charge of student orientation petitioned the faculty and staff for theme ideas to tie into the school’s history. Our original school mascot was the Jackrabbit. It was changed in the late 1940s to the current nickname. We really have no curent mascot to use with our nickname because no one can tell you exactly what a Pioneer is supposed to look like. Just ask Utica College in New York. To make a long story short, I submitted the theme idea, “Embrace Your Haretage!” with a big picture of a jackrabbit … and yes I misspelled “heritage” on purpose. We had ideas of t-shirts with the theme and logo printed on them going to every new student and faculty or staff member that wanted one. There are so many things we could do with the jackrabbit to benefit the school in the public eye, and seeing as how I am in the Public Relations Office, we have discussed these ideas at length. A few years ago, our office passed out jackrabbit t-shirts during homecoming and the students and alumni loved them. They were asking for more.

When this idea was passed on for an informal vote among faculty and staff, the majority loved it. Then it went to the administrator’s desk. Needless to say the idea ran head first into a brick wall that remains consistently closed to differing opinions. The only opinions that matter are the ones that generate from within the wall. None of the “senseless graffiti” that splashes up on the outside of the wall will ever seep through.

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t want this to sound like sour grapes because someone “poo-pooed” in my potty. I couldn't care less who comes up with the idea as long as it is something students will accpet and enjoy. I even pointed out that the idea would work without the Jackrabbit just in case said administrator (who actually likes the jackrabbit … or so I’ve been told) thinks we are pushing to change the school mascot. Just use the theme “Embrace Your Heritage” and tie into the school’s history in any number of ways.

But as we all know, rabbits don’t fly.

Anyway, once the idea was officially shot down we were suddenly without a theme for our student orientation, and the deadline for getting material printed on time was quickly passing. So the great wall opened up and brought forth a new “collegiate” theme for our centennial student orientation weekend………. “Celebrate a Century of Fellowship.”

“… And may God bless us, everyone. Don’t forget to save your nickels and pennies for the foreign missionaries. Now boys and girls lets huddle together and sing “Come by Here” and don’t forget to be in bed with lights out by 8 o’clock … we have a big day tomorrow.”


Anonymous said...

And I MIGHT just know of whom you are speaking of! How totally boring & extremely frustrating for you all!!! me

Anonymous said...

will there be a color war? or a game of capture the flag? Cuz I'm not going without that.

SpookyRach said...

That's the LAMEST collegiate idea ever. Seriously.

'A Century of Fellowship'? I'm gonna change my resume to reflect that I went to college somewheres else.