Monday, February 27, 2012

Canadian debacle

The issue is turning into a mountain when in fact it’s a molehill, much ado over nothing one thinks; thinking that Shakespeare has cornered the market on clichés; all the best sayings describing the most difficult of situations somehow can be found in his plays. Exactly where we find ourselves today, with everyone giving their own opinion on the possible solution; someone jokingly said that the problem had become an international crisis, with the European team screaming down the American team, the local folks screaming back like the old colonial wars breaking out again; the old world pushing a solution to the new world, no taxation without representation, one remembers the old adage that sparked the revolutionary war, but it’s not a nation state or a government that one battles with but the corporation,  an entity that started with the Dutch East Indies company, now a hydra headed monster with tentacles stretching the globe. Five solutions proposed, all complex, trying to fix a design flaw that occurred three years ago, missing all the opportunity to fix the problem all these years and months until one was ready to implement in Canada, but unable to proceed when the bug was found at the last minute.

‘Oh what a tangled web we weave’, an excellent maxim from Shakespeare again, accurately describing the mess we’re in, people pointing fingers and looking for someone to blame; it’s not your issue my boss says to me, let the experts and powers that be battle it out, the issue turning into a debacle as more complex proposals are expressed one after the other, like having all the weight coming into the game will allow the whole project to collapse into absurdity, which is what is happening if no sense of sanity is brought into the discussion.  Yes, it’s a game after all, a devious strategy to have the project cancelled by laying out complex solutions and the money needed to pay for them, perhaps the classic bureaucratic tactic to kill a project, making it too expensive or too complex so people would balk at the solution while appearing to be helpful, their devious selves disguised by thoughtful concern and proactive action. It’s the sly game of politics, where one needs to be cunning and devious to survive, scheming and manipulating in the shadows to win, planning like a Machiavellian strategist to win the game, the battle drawn with smiling combatants with their false demeanor looking kindly across the conference table but ready to stab you in the back.

‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’, a quote from Hamlet about politics; and it’s not the fish that smells though perhaps the Dutch East Indies company, a metaphor for the corporation, but it’s really the normal state of affairs, ‘all the world is a stage’ where everyone is acting out their own internal agenda, perhaps the agendas of some coinciding, thereby forming a cabal, resulting in a rotten state that Shakespeare alludes to.  But it is really a fight for survival, to keep one’s own job, to protect one’s own fiefdom; in order to feed the family, to pay the mortgage, to pay the kid’s tuition; coalescing in the political maelstrom of every day work, where one proceeds in the guise of professionalism. Hence, the Canadian debacle, the project stopped and unable to move forward, while committees are formed and solutions discussed, estimated, revised and proposed to the wider group; fights breakout, emotion and passions expressed and poets like Shakespeare write about a day in a life of employees living like kings in the old plays, with modernity allowing excess debt and false wealth to satisfy one’s urges; desires spilling into the workplace with the spectacle of bankruptcy and lost youth making a last stand in project meetings.

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