Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Medical Proxy

Instructions to my loved ones:

Was it Old Yeller where they had to shoot the dog because he was acting tetched and foaming at the mouth? Even though it was the good old dog and they loved him very much, they realized that he was miserable and doomed and needed them to do what must be done?

Anyway, I may have left you instructions about the fanny pack (or belly-band, depending on its orientation). It may be fine for other people or for specific purposes, but if you see me wearing one, aim and fire. I am not a photographer or an avid hiker, so I have no honest business wearing one. Think of them the way you would think of those miner's headlamps. If I look like I am spelunking or working under the kitchen sink (the suburbanite's equivalent) hold your fire and look for signs of a climbing harness, ropes or a plumber's wrench. In their absence; proceed.

So it is for fanny packs.

Well same goes for jargon. I have been looking at job descriptions for PR positions and whoever writes them should be ashamed. After an hour or so, the devil in me spoke up and said:

"Seeking a position where my demonstrated capabilities at utilizing state-of-the art communications technologies and strong interpersonal and writing skills to strategically dialogue with key influencers on time-sensitive mission-critical challenges in a highly-competitive environment enable me to efficiently and effectively produce profitable outcomes across departments that are consistent with the company brand and its mission and that promote/reinforce its active involvement as a good corporate citizen.”

That is hydrophobia. Do not hesitate: Do what must be done. Just as exposure to underground bats can occasion the infection of the careful spelunker, so, even casual contact with the language of recruitment can doom the careful job-seeker.

As Old Yeller might have said, Just shoot me.

I will know that you love me.

Now with Intel Centrino Duo Mobile Technology.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Too Soon To Festoon.

Pass me the remote

Um, you know.

My friend Peter, right? He's like in Washington or someplace like practically next to it or something?

And like he and Ricky are like wicked into gardens and landscaping and all that? And like they even do it for real. You know? Like people pay them and stuff? Well not all year but when it’s the right season I think. But it’s like all they do? I mean Peter and Ricky, not the people who pay them They are like rich or something. Ambassadors and stuff I think. And divorce lawyers.

But when it’s not gardening season, they like take time off? Cause I mean that’s really like what they do.

Anyways. Peter is like. . .

One of the leaders of the landscape architects, historians and preservation advocates who believed that construction of the Dumbarton Oaks Library would imperil the North Vista garden. He organized the local opposition to the siting of the library back in 1999 and was successful in having the plan changed. I think there was an issue as well with an underground parking garage. We spoke to him often during the heat of the battle. Boy those landscape historians can be an ornery bunch.

Like I am totally serious! GTG POS

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Additional Discussions Around the Topic

A prelude to thinking in terms. (var. "surrounding the topic", "in the area of")

Linda Richman had it right. “I’m a little verklempt … talk amongst yourselves…I will give you a topic…the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman nor an empire. Discuss.”

What courage! “Rhode Island …it’s neither a road nor an island. Discuss.” One word – discuss. Go for it, dammit! DISCUSS! Don’t futz around. Raise your voice, move your hands. Interrupt one another!

Sadly, we seem no longer to have the verve of Linda Richman. We are wimps. We don’t discuss.

We hold discussions around the topic of something.

"After Frank’s PowerPoint on the first quarter financials, we’’ll break for lunch. When we come back, from 1:30 to 3:00 we will hold discussions around the topic of setting a clear agenda."

Will we commit to an agenda? No. To setting an agenda? No. To the topic of setting an agenda? Also, no. Forget about any actual discussion of the topic either – discussion around the topic is what we’ll look forward to over tuna salad, Diet Coke and chips. And even that we will hold, not have.

So we dine in rapt anticipation of a fourth or fifth derivative of an actual bureaucratic event. Pity the corporate chef who has to compete with that. As for poor Frank and his Q-1 financials, well he may as well be teaching the last period sixth grade geography class before Christmas vacation. (Do they still have geography class? I am pretty sure they don’t have Christmas vacation. Exactly how old am I?)

Where does all this leave us? Well it only gets worse. Even if we roll back in from lunch and begin the process of opening a dialog about some issues affecting the potential setting of agendas, whether clear or otherwise, I have a sawbuck that says you’re going to find we’re still only thinking in terms of agendas.

Thinking in terms. Another gruesome turn, but don’t get me started! I am telling you, do not go there! Am I right people?

Almost time for some festooning. God, I love festooning.