Thursday, January 08, 2009

Going to pot

This country is going to pot, literally and figuratively.  What's my current rant?  Bureaucracy.  C'mon: wouldn't the university, the company, the world be a better place without bureacrats?  I remember asking my grandpa how he decided to drive trucks for a living.  He said that after the war, he tried out a desk job.  But all he was doing was shuffling paper from one place to another.  Enough of that!  When he was in the military, he'd driving bigwigs around, and he'd liked it.  So he found a job involving driving.
     I think if I follow my Grandpa's example, and if more people did too, we'd all be better people.  Sure, it's fun to some extent to review other people's ideas and to order others around.  But I've found that unless I'm trying to work on a project at the same time that I'm overviewing another person's work, I'm entirely overbearing or out of touch with what they're doing.
     I'm writing about this, because I just heard about a position called a "diversity coordinator."  Someone in this role tries to increase the percentage of minority students enrolled in a certain program.  For example, s/he might do this by overseeing the application process at a university.
    I'm just blown away by the fact that there's actually a job title for this.  Wouldn't it make more sense for folks who have real jobs to do this as a part of their real job?  Instead of just manipulating the quotas of students admitted, why not just recruit more diversified students, and then leave the admission process to just concentrate on grades?  For example, if a professor was acting as a "diversity coordinator," when he spoke at his own or another university, he would ask that undergrads be invited to his talk, and at the beginning or end of his talk he would talk about some minority role models at his home university.
    While I'm griping, I might as well add this one into the mix: does it bother anyone else that bureaucrats guide an institution's course, but are often unqualified to understand or speak for those they are supposed to represent?  As a case in point, what in the world qualifies Leon Panetta to run the CIA?  Also, who decides the ratio between bureaucrats' and others' pay?  Why are they on an institution's payroll, and why do they often make more than those drones on whose backs they stand?  What ratio of bureaucrat to labrat is sustainable?  As I see it, an institution can do without bureaucrats, but it cannot do without those at the draft board/lab bench/programming dialog box. 
    In an ideal world, the only person qualified to lead is one who's been in the lowest rank and worked their way up.  Otherwise, how can they know what they're doing?


Anonymous said...

I agree, sweetie, that it is better to not be a paper pusher BUT, we must not leave the paper pushing to others completely. We do at our own peril. We need to hold those who can dictate to us what we are to do with our time and money accountable and we can only do that by ourselves at times being paper pushers for them.

eve said...

I just think that every paper pusher should have a creative job on the side, too. :-)