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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Conversations With Managers

Lately a lot of managers have made it a point to stop and talk. One, who has a history of laudatory behaviour on the line, freqently providing food and really taking the time to talk, really talked to me the other day. I'm afraid I got into it a bit with her.

She mentioned that the senior managers are always making the rounds inside, answering questions. She said that many inside are not afraid to ask the hard questions of these people. I said, what questions? She said, you know, they want to know when this will end, what the plan is, that sort of thing. I said that my first question would be, "What the F*** are you people thinking?"

She laughed uncomfortably and said that both sides are right and wrong, both management and the union. I asked, how so? She said, well, we get all our information from management inside and you get all your information from the union, so we're both biased as a result. I pointed out that in fact I've heard very little from the union, except the odd matter-of-fact update that seems pretty devoid of rhetoric. Instead I get most of my information online, from locked out investigative journalists with nothing better to do than attempt to get to the bottom of what's going on.

I continued to press her. I said, why doesn't somebody ask them why they can't pen some kind of interim agreement? They're talking, we might as well be working while they're talking, right? She replied that even interim agreements take a while to sort out. Bullshit, I thought, thinking of all the competing radio stations in New Orleans that got together almost overnight to broadcast together. I said, are you afraid to speak? I said, if you all spoke with one voice, refusing to buy into what might well result in the demise of public broadcasting in this country, perhaps you might accomplish something. She shook her head. You just can't talk to senior management that way. People would get fired.

She brought up the famous Krista and Fred memo. Nobody seems to give them any credit for rescinding that memo, she pointed out. They changed their mind, saw reason. They deserve credit for that, she said. I said, "Should we give Pat Robertson credit for changing his mind about assassinating the president of Venezuela? He's still a goof, isn't he? I question his sincerity, and I question theirs."

At which point I felt I had gone too far and apologized. This was a good person I was talking to, I reminded myself.

It wasn't her fault she suffered a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome.


Blogger pickdoff said...

i just don't get it. i just can't believe that the people inside are that *out of it* maybe the manager you met up with is in charge of ordering paper clips or booking niagra institute getaways-- but MY managers were allegedly journalists at one time or another. i guess technically they are again since the managers from my department are hard at work on the borecasts. Yet when i meet up with them, they stare at me wide-eyed and claim * i/we don't know what's going on- we're so in the dark etc.* Cmon you guys --you USED to know how to get the facts or look at a story from more than one side. why have you gone all Stepford on us? did Tony make some collossal mistake and populate his leadership team with scaredy-cat, closed-minded automatons ? ok i guess im just lobbing that last line out-- i can imagine what the responses will be...

1:40 a.m.  
Blogger pickdoff said...

sorry me again... but your post has me in a complete tizzle. that remark about the Fred and Krista note? how they don't get credit for rescinding it? wellll puleeeeeeeeeze would they have rescinded that missive if it HAD NOT BEEN MADE PUBLIC? i wonder. it wasn't *rescinded* before it was BROADCAST from picket line to picket line. So don't be renting your tuxes and party dresses for the Nobel Peace Prize yet folks.
you got some work to do.

1:49 a.m.  

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