“I’m gonna offer him a presentation he can’t refuse…”
Why is “the boss” so important?
For the last few days at the office I’ve been working on a presentation for someone high up in the corporate tree.
And when I say “I”, what I mean is that with every new version of the presentation I produced, I’ve had three people going over it a pair of very small tweezers, pulling apart every word to make it all just slightly better.
I fully understand the need to communicate what we’ve been doing, to show that the final outcome isn’t total nonsense.
Before this however people have been perfectly happy with haphazard excel sheets, half-formatted graphs and word documents that need a bit of creative interpretation to make sense of. And they would take whatever it was that I put on those sheets, graphs and documents as gospel truth.
But now things are getting bumped up and suddenly it has to be perfect! Or better to say, it has to look perfect…
The results really aren’t going to change with formatting. The outcome is still the same, even with that picture 2 points further to the right…
The thing is, I have constant interaction with the project manager (my “boss”). So if something looks a bit sloppy, we can talk it through. If not today, then tomorrow or the day after.
It’s strange when you think about it: As soon as we step into the workplace, any thoughts of democracy are left behind and it’s hierarchy all the way…
The big kahuna however only has time to look at something once (I can make an estimate of what her time is worth by adding up the amount of time spent, multiplied by the hourly rates of all those who have been working on this presentation – the hour she’s going to spend looking at this thing is worth a small car…)
So where I can build up a decent image of myself through a myriad of interactions with the project manager, she only has a very limited number of opportunities to shine in front of the top brass. And it is in the end there where the decisions are made on who gets a pat on the shoulder, who gets promoted and who is destined to remain a project manager for the rest of eternity.
From that perspective it makes perfect sense to spend a small fortune on polishing; it might not help, but it certainly won’t hurt.
Unless of course you’re the poor sod who gets to make just a few more changes to version 26-c…
Maybe I should consider getting out of this while I still have some of my sanity left? Somewhere where I’m the biggest fish in the pond myself…?
I’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.
If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!