October 22nd, 2003

buzzed, B&W

My office is full of incompetents

Maybe the title is a bit harsh.

I heard someone say "I'd email you but it wouldn't make any sense" - the point they're trying to convey was basically that when we go question the county commissioners as to why we're getting 30% budget cuts (and ask that the cuts not be made), that we need to be professional, and that we need more professionalism in general.

They're also citing an example of a dinner they went to where that group (which also receives funding from the county), invited all the commissioners, and they estimated the cost of the dinner to be three to four thousand dollars. Imagine that - hobnobbing and networking is something that politicians like, and it can get you results/dollars. By throwing such an event, it makes them seem more professional, and the politicians/decision makers will remember them. Their overall point is that we, as an office, need to be more professional. Oh the irony coming from someone who can't effectively communicate the above through email in the 21st century.

Our office is unprofessional - sort of a result of the work we do. Our mission statement is:
Improve Missourians' lives by addressing their highest priorities through the application of research-based knowledge and resources.
Because most of the programs get federal grant money, they have to be accessible to all, and finances can not be an obstacle to participation. This leads to most of the staff being people who love to help others, but aren't business people. They're afraid to even charge nominal fees (2-3 dollars) to cover costs.

I'm going to guess though when they go talk to the commissioners, they won't wear suits, they'll probably wear jeans and an oxford or something of the like, and they won't go in with a nice packet of information with a good executive summary of why we should get funding. No hard numbers, results, etc. They don't seem to understand that sometimes you have to play by other peoples rules, even if they're as silly as the rules of politicians.

Blah. Maybe the title isn't so harsh.
buzzed, B&W


Anyone out there ridden Amtrak before? I'm debating riding the train for the holidays, either turkey day or x-mas. While the time is about the same as driving, it's cheaper than flying, and I can sleep/read.