Filibuster Strategies

For most salaried jobs, no one at the company that is responsible for making evaluations has the ability to actually assess performance. When only appearance matters, crazy fakery flourishes.

One project manager I worked with was famous for producing reams of documentation which he would send to the client for affirmation of the information therein. This put the client in a defensive position, as they were forced to read it and speculate on its implications, as tight dates forced acceptance of stated assumptions unless the client quickly altered them. This also kept the client from taking any other actions as they were burdened with responding to the documentation and rarely had additional capacity to consider future steps of the project. By undertaking this grueling busy work which surely took many hours but added little or no value, this project manager was able to paralyze the client, making them far easier to manage. In the bigger picture, he was a disservice to them for disrupting focus on the project’s delivery, strategy, and implementation – but no one could blame him for writing and delivering factual documentation.

One very clever engineer made himself famous in the office for wearing outrageous clothing, whether hippie shirts, crazy socks, or other adornments that everyone found amusing and cheerful. Each day, the social office people made it a point to see what he had worn to the office. His happy demeanor further pleased people, so much that they overlooked his lack of work output for over a year while he ran this cute scam. Eventually upper management caught on and he was fired for having never produced anything, but his hilarious performance was legendary to me.

Leave a Reply