Saturday, March 02, 2013

Endless prevarication - the past week at work


Because I had been late home last night I only had five hours sleep, so all of the day I felt tired.  When I drew back the curtains upstairs I saw fog over the fields.  Going out to my car, so much water vapour falling from the trees to the ground it looked as if it were raining.

Over the weekend I had been working on a new PR plan, so as soon as I got to my desk I had a definite matrix to circulate by e-mail.  It was nice to feel I was ahead with something, instead of always feeling I am struggling to catch up.  Rare e-mail response from Vijay Singh (our Director) praising me for "hitting the ground running on a Monday morning" (that's the way he speaks).

Mid-morning a meeting with Telephone Research manager Abi Reed.  Since we began a specific campaign the take-up of subscriptions has been 17%.  We then went into a meeting with Vijay Singh to discuss a link-up with a national newspaper.

In the afternoon I worked on copy for the new website which is to have a "shop" selling the Institute's publications.  Debate with Campaign Manager Callum Smith on the payment mechanism for this shop.  Because America is a growing market for our papers we will probably opt for Paypal, despite its clunky attributes.   

Admin supervisor Gladys Y (over-large, belligerent, very opinionated) is not helpful, and I find her difficult to work with.  Other managers have reported similar problems so probably I can expect someone else to address the issue.  But it means that for the time being I cannot rely on support from the Admin team.   

Most of the morning taken up with a meeting over the new website.  Vijay Singh was very confrontational with Callum Smith, and also unfair in the accusations he was making.  I was undecided whether to support Callum Smith or just keep quiet - in the end I kept quiet, although later I wished I had said more.

Doing some attitude research, I found myself becoming drawn into other people's lives.

In the afternoon another meeting with Vijay Singh and Callum Smith, this time to discuss advertising in various key magazines.  Vijay Singh knows nothing about advertising, and thinks he can just put small one-off ads into classified pages and get a response.  As usual there was a chronic inability to make a decision and endless prevarication (Vijay Singh likes other people to takes decisions so he can blame them if things go wrong; Callum Smith is too young and unsure of himself to take the initiative).

When I came out of the meeting I get feedback from the Admin team that a recent mailshot had resulted in a high profile recruit - at last some good news for all the work we are doing to secure the Institute's future.


I spent the morning analysing the data from a research project and building profiles.  My own view is that you cannot do enough research, although this is not always appreciated.  Abi Reed is of the view that all we need is an indication and that going back for confirmation is a waste of resources.

We have fallen out with the printing company again, which has meant me listing all the errors on recent assignments - a tedious task that took up most of the afternoon.


London - a confidential assignment during most of the day.  In the evening I went to a talk.  Glad I missed all the endless analysis although when I got home I switched on the television and stayed up far too late.


I promised myself an easy day today. 

Tendentious e-mail from Alec Nussbaum at Head Office which I had to answer carefully, showing it to Vijay Singh before I pressed Send.

News that former Deputy Director Lois Cooper, who is ill with cancer, has gone into hospital.

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