Every few days I read, with mounting fascination and horror, the blog of a man whose writing I admire immensely. BPG holds a senior position in a large and profitable company and he regales us with tales of what it is like to live on Management Row.
He speaks in metaphors and his dry humor leads us easily through episodes of corporate life that are amusing and chilling by turns.
His blog illustrates clearly that one can appear to be in a position of great power, yet be unable to exert effective control over the future of an organization.
There is no false note in any of his accounts. The episodes are so real they bring back memories I would rather forget. The saving grace is that he describes his corporate existence with a wry detachment that keeps it from being a complete downer.
His blog presents me with a quandry. I am drawn back time after time by the fact that his writing is superb and his deft humor is unique. On the other hand, I am strongly reminded of having held similar positions, where I too could only comment wryly on non-optimum situations and felt that I was unable to change them for the better.
The Big Picture Guy doesn’t complain about his lot, nor is he indifferent. However, he tells us more then we want to know about the empty and lonely life of people near the top of an organization. They form fleeting alliances in an attempt to keep things moving, but one gets the uncomfortable feeling of hopelessness that settles over them when the emergencies are over.
There are people in his organization that have enthusiasm and talent, but he reveals to us the dead ends these people face. He is not unsympathetic, but his posts reveal a pervading sense of being powerless to change things for the better.
I have been there and done that myself, and finally concluded that it was healthier to be in charge of my destiny, rather than to be a well-compensated cog in an industrial machine. I still say that, even at a fraction of my former salary.
Big Picture Guy may be biding his time for a spectacular breakout. I surely hope so. It has been done before, and it is certainly exciting. Nineteen of us jumped ship to form a new company in the Seventies and it was a wild ride while it lasted.
It is a better fate than the slow death that comes from endless safe decisions. That is like being bitten to death by ducks. The process is extremely painful and it never ends.
Some of you have been there, I’m sure. Care to comment?