The Management

This afternoon at work my boss asked me to find out what a colleague’s job actually entailed. I looked him up on the work intranet and found this job description:

“To lead and manage the Communication team of [organisation], by defining the expected results and ensuring its staff delivers the work required to implement the team’s work program in the context of [organisation]’s mission and objectives, while enabling the staff to develop their potential.”

We were unable to decide whether it was an inept, overly literal translation from another language, or an entirely computer-generated text. As far as I can tell, it means “Make sure everyone else does their job properly”.


10 thoughts on “The Management

  1. Erik R. March 10, 2009 / 11:25 pm

    Obligatory Office Space quote:

    Bob 1: “Just what is it that you do here?”

    Tom: “Don’t you listen? I deal with the goddamn customers so the engineers don’t have to! I’m a people person dammit! What the hell is wrong with you?”


    • Norm March 23, 2009 / 2:53 pm

      Office Space – definitely due a 10-year anniversary cinema re-release. It’s permanently ensconced in my top 10 films – just because I lived it.

      Milton: “I’m going to burn this place to the ground…”

      Didn’t everyone just want to smash the crap out of their printer after that?!


      • Erik R. March 23, 2009 / 11:53 pm

        Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta.


  2. mondraussie March 11, 2009 / 10:58 am

    “We were unable to decide whether it was an inept, overly literal translation from another language, or an entirely computer-generated text. ”

    Simon, I’m afraid you are wrong on both counts. I have examined the text carefully and believe it to be a genuine example of bureaucrat speak. I should know, I worked in the public service for a number of years back home, and reached an advanced status in this particular dialect.

    Bureaucrat speak employs overly long sentences, dubious grammatical structures and an oversaturation of “buzz-words” with the intention that the reader will get bored and wander off to play a game of solataire before reaching the end of the paragraph. In this way they will never discover the underlying subtext, which makes bureaucrat speak particularly useful for reporting on issues deemed to be in the public interest.

    My reading of the subtext of this particular example is that the position is superfluous to requirements and the person can probably be dismissed without anyone ever actually noticing. But before making that recommendation to your boss, a word of warning: Check your own position description first!


    • simonlitton March 11, 2009 / 11:05 am

      “Surplus to requirements” applies to a large number of people here. An old joke goes “Q: How many people work in [organisation]? A: About a third of them”.


  3. J March 13, 2009 / 3:54 pm

    Sounds like a project manager to me. 🙂


    • simonlitton March 13, 2009 / 3:57 pm

      Really? I’ve always wondered what they do…


      • Peter March 15, 2009 / 8:58 am

        My brother (managing part of a plant) often told me: “basically they dump the problems on my desk and pick up the solutions later”

        Sounds like a fair description 😉


  4. Norm March 23, 2009 / 2:58 pm

    “To lead and manage the Communications team…”?!?! I work in comms and I’m sorry but whoever wrote that pile of poo clearly has no grasp of what communcations channels are, methods of delivery or how to get anything across clearly…!! Perfect for Commission work obviously!


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