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shortly after I return September 17, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Inexplicable Memos From Above, The Two-Year-Old.
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I was clearing out my e-mail today and found this inexplicable memo from the Two-Year-Old:

I will be at our corporate office Monday through Wednesday. I am attending meetings with all other executives in our branch to learn about CorporateSpeak’s new program which some of you have heard of, called Mercury. They want me to take this information and share it with all of you shortly after I return. So we’ll be meeting in the main conference room room Tuesday, July 28th at 10:00am.

Baroo? (Originally seen on Cute Overload)

Baroo? (Originally seen on Cute Overload)

This was sent on Friday July 10, which means she returned on Thursday July 16. I don’t know if 12 calendar days (8 business days) is corporate’s definition of “shortly”, but it certainly isn’t mine. To me, “shortly” indicates that we should have had this meeting on Monday the 20th.

This e-mail highlights a problem I’ve been seeing more and more of in both my own company and companies my friends and e-mailers tell me about: the fear of moving quickly. Companies are petrified of doing something wrong, of taking a chance that might not pan out, so they refuse to commit the kind of resources they need to really do something right, whether it’s right or wrong. If you don’t take bold steps, you won’t succeed, not in this economic climate.

Mercury, as it turns out, is completely useless to our branch. We never use it, and we never will. Of course, the corporate office will continue to send out e-mails about how we should be using Mercury, and people here will hem and haw about it, and then someone intelligent (usually me) will say “ah, but we don’t use Mercury, and we never will, because we never will receive the software package”, and everyone will ctfd and go back to their lives.

Oh, and by the way, we still had that meeting, and the Two-Year-Old still explained Mercury to us, and you wouldn’t believe* the amount of questions she received… and then, as she said “well, we’re not going to use that aspect of Mercury” to each of them, the crowd became more and more restless and distressed until finally one of our Old Guard — a photographer who’s been here for about 20 years — said, “so what you’re saying is we’re not going to use Mercury at all?”

Naturally she couldn’t give us a good answer to that either. So, you know, an all-around success.

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* Yes you would.

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