Not “no” but “hell no!”

Since i’ve started the new job, one of the biggest challenges has been working with a remote division.  It’s not just the geography that is the challenge, these folks have operated in an entirely different research culture for decades, and there isn’t much common philosophical ground. 

We both have pieces of a substantial program, and for the most part have been working to serve our corporate masters well – albeit with differing views on what is best.  Their division, however, has been slated for ‘divestiture’ in 2011 and the folks there have the option of moving into our home office, or leaving corporate service.  Needless to say, they are cranky. 

It falls within the realm of my new job to orchestrate the program for my division, and it has become increasingly obvious that we need to develop a unified strategy to best feed the corporate interests.  In the absence of leadership, it has been my style to fill the void.  And i have attempted to do so since arriving at the new digs in mid-June.

Apparently, i have upset some of the fucking dinosaurs senior leadership at the remote division.  For the past month i’ve heard rumblings that they are unhappy with me in the new job.  Nothing direct, nothing documented, just an apparent behind-the-scenes smear campaign.  i assured my management that i’d be happy to address concerns, and would welcome face-to-face discussion, but haven’t gotten the call.

This afternoon a trusted colleague, SS, stopped by my office.  Like me, he is pretty direct in these matters, and asked me point blank about my history with these folks, and what i might have done in the past to piss them off.  We’ve crossed paths before, and i did not hesitate to call bullshit out items for further evaluation when i disagreed with their approach.  Generally, i knew they didn’t “like” me, and could give a flying fuck that we’d never be friends.

After a long conversation about our current stalemate — they are actively slow-rolling any attempts i’m making to develop a joint strategy for the program — we discussed ways to get things moving.  It was a brainstorming session between two people trying to figure a way out of a quirky situation. 

daisyfae:  i can put the history aside, even suck up to them and pretend like the work they’re doing is scientifically relevant.  What can i change about my approach to get this moving again?  Direct confrontation?  Work through the management chain?  i’m open to suggestions…

SS:  Well, you know, if you let it slip that you thought they were doing this because you’re a woman, that might pinch the loaf for good…

daisyfae: [steam sprouting from ears] What? Are you fucking serious?

SS:  They are a bunch of uptight white men*, grasping at straws to keep from working with our division.  We could throw their tactics right back at them…

daisyfae: [flames blasting from nostrils]  Never!  i have NEVER thrown that flag in 28 years of my engineering career, and i’ll be fucked like a drunken monkey if i’m gonna start now!

SS: I understand that, and everyone who works with you knows that.  But we were looking at ways to shut down the bullshit and get to work…

daisyfae: [eyes rolling in head, which is now rotating 360 degrees, “Exorcist” style] Absolutely no fucking way!  Even if it IS why they are doing this, i can’t play it that way… it sets everyone back.  Fuck… but it would shut them up.  Fuck…

In the end?  i decided to go home.  i was vexed, to say the least. 

The proverbial bottom line:  Playing the game their way — by tossing out unsubstantiated allegations of bad behavior — would allow us to most expeditiously get on with the program planning and integration.  Which would best serve our corporate masters. 

But the daisyfae bottom line: No fucking way. 

damned

*SS is an uptight white man.  But a creative thinker…