No Hands Meeting

This week we had the first All Hands meeting since I started this job. The department director kicked off the meeting by talking about the new chairs and flat screen he bought for the conference room and that it was his goal to continue to improve the office with new decorating features. Then he asked us to think of new ways to reward good work with something other than bonuses because he wasn’t going to spend any money on bonuses for the staff. He had tried giving out first prize ribbons, but most of them ended up in the garbage.

The department director mentioned that the results of an office climate study showed that the staff was unclear about how our work fits in with the mission of the government organization and what the mission of our office was. He said if we didn’t know what our mission was, we should look at the back of our business cards because it was printed there. I’m not allowed to have business cards yet, so I had to look at someone else’s.

Then one of the staff members gave a 40 minute presentation about a bubble chart. This year management improved the bubble chart by moving the bubbles around. My favorite chart was the one that compared the number of air traffic controllers working with the number on break and the number on vacation. There were usually about the same number of controllers on break as there were working. But, as the chart proved, if fewer controllers went on break, more controllers could go on vacation.

Next, the managers took turns at delivering stand-up comedy routines. They each showed the same things on their presentation slides, taking credit for each other’s work. “Because it’s a matrixed organization,” Manager said. Manager explained how the purpose of most of his work is to justify his budget and the budgets of the rest of the managers.

After the meeting, the department director announced that the department was providing lunch for everyone. I don’t know about everyone else, but one of my nine supervisors (matrixed organization) made me pay eight bucks for lunch. Maybe she used it to pay herself a bonus.

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