work-a-day kvetching

today i was abruptly taken off my latest speechwriting assignment. a couple of perfectionist honchos decided that my draft wasn’t working. i had toiled over it painfully last week, getting up at 5 a.m. three days in a row to write in the quiet of the morning before the inevitable earnings-week workday busyness.

i handed it in on friday and felt it was a pretty solid start. i was told that a bigger honcho would take a crack at improving upon my initial effort. i certainly did not think it was perfect. there were several spots that needed work … as one would expect in a 4,000 word speech. i reread it over the weekend and decided it’s actually a strong first draft considering that i’d been given zero direction on what the content should be. i got the main ideas down, i got the most important data in there, and i gave it a solid, intelligible structure. most of what it lacked was cosmetic – prose that more closely resembles the ceo’s natural speech. better transitions between thoughts and a little flair (but not a lot – it’s a shareholder meeting after all).

well today the plan changed. not that anyone told me it did ─ i pieced it together myself. bigger honcho did not lift a finger on it over the weekend (as anyone could have predicted) and today they passed it over to another writer to “see what he can do with it.”

naturally my ego’s a bit bruised. but also, i’m pissed. because once again, we’re caught in an absurd cycle. we don’t dare ask for guidance or float drafts or ideas early enough in the process for fear of risking executive rejection/wrath. at the same time, we fail to find out what our ceo wants. in the end, he tells us what he wants a day or two before the event and it turns into a painful last minute scramble for everyone.

i’m just glad i am not in the direct line of fire. i admire our ceo. i think he’s a really smart, badass, super-effective leader. but i don’t want to be his minion (or anyone’s minion for that matter). the healthier i become (emotionally that is), the more i wonder whether i can really continue on in this absurd corporate parade. the people i work with, though talented and good at heart, are psychologically fucked. they all have serious daddy issues. their lives revolve around our ceo’s moods. they crave his approbation. serving him makes them feel needed and important. it’s workplace codependency on a massive scale. who needs it?

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