The Catch-22

I’m kind of caught between a rock and a hard place at work.

You see, I’ve been trying to design a plan for almost a year now to put my skills working with and managing the printers to a more global scale in the company–trying to create a position for myself that would, in effect, work to standardize print queue setup, configuration, and maybe even help manage them at least across the U.S. And on the surface, trying to push this idea during a huge IT reorganization seems like the perfect idea.

Except that everyone on IT is under strict orders not to hire anyone or add head count unless it’s replacing someone who left.

How is that a problem, you ask? Well, because for me to move from doing this with the help desk (where I am now), I’d have to propose to move to another group…Which wouldn’t be able to take me on unless they have an open position available–and after all of the layoffs back in May, that is completely unlikely. And if I were to propose to do this at the help desk, except saying I need to do this full time, instead of doing it as needed, they’d kill me because they can’t afford to lose a body that can help get the ticket count down.

Yet my supervisor wants me to produce a presentation with details of my plan and its cost savings and the like so I can present the idea up the chain. His goal is to get the printer management out of the help desk…Knowing full well it can’t go anywhere.

So I’m trying to put this together, and it’s a bit half-hearted: I’m trying to sell the efficiency, how much it will help other groups and teams, and save money…But at the same time, it’s like trying to negotiate with a two-year-old: you can be as rational as you want, but it won’t change anything.

I even asked myself what the point is of doing this when it isn’t going to get any action. I mean, who really wants to produce something at work that is dead on arrival? Yet I’m under orders from my supervisor to do it, so he and I can present it up the chain: to our new manager, to the manager’s boss, to our group’s VP, to the Change Advisory Board, then to the CIO.

I’ve thought about putting a disclaimer at the top of the presentation: “You and I both know this won’t go anywhere, but at least humor me with one intelligent question and show some legitimate interest. Because I did end up putting xx hours into this.” I figured I could even put in some wipes or cross-fades in the slide transitions, just to make it more interesting than the standard presentation.

But alas, this presentation, I fear, will be akin to the parrot in the Monty Python sketch where John Cleese’s character comes in to the pet store to argue that the parrot nailed to the perch in the cage is, in fact, dead, while the salesperson insists that it is not dead, but just sleeping or in some transcendental state. God only knows what what would happen if I did make it as far as presenting this to the CIO. It might have rainbows and unicorns on the slides by then.

No one had better ask me why my productivity is down right now.

See you tomorrow.