Friday, April 18, 2008

Busy Man

Galleys are in and very quickly comes a message that there will be one more trade of copies with the plan that the manuscript will be at the printer on Tuesday- so an entire review, last chances and BOOM. Done. Except for all the things that aren't.

Simultaneously I was tasked to design an eight-hour training day for dealing with the mentally ill. I got the instructions a while ago and wrote/designed what I needed to do and delegated the parts I wasn't qualified to write: psychotropic medications; the continuum of care; a catalog of community resources, stuff like that.

As it got close to crunch time, none of the delegatees came through. None. Zero percent. As the date approached, I called them on it. The answer was universal- they didn't believe that the program had management support, that it would help, that the students cared-- they wanted to bag it. Conscious or not, the inactivity was a passive-aggressive attempt to torpedo the program.

(Yes, people. In any large political organization you can expect management to be out of touch. It is our job to hold it together anyway. I know you're tired. I'm tired too. But we hold it together. Us. No matter how short-sighted or even stupid the directives, we hold things together. We make it work. The people who make the bad decisions won't pay for the consequences. We will, either us or the people we are sworn to protect. So we make it work, every day. Just do it.)

They said they would get it done, but they used the same words as the first time. I'm not qualified to write the stuff we needed. Crisis communication? Oh, yeah. Quick and dirty diagnosis? Limits of physical skills? All that. But not the stuff we needed.

So I called in the big guns. I think I've disagreed with and gone head to head with Capt. A more than anyone else at his rank in the agency. But for years I've admired his ability to deal with problem people (he actually has more trouble with motivated self-starters). I called him. He called a meeting.

It was an education to watch him work. He never even entertained 'why' or 'if' but jumped right to 'how'. The very people that were in full rebellion with me were assigned tasks and solving problems before they even remembered that they were supposed to be resistant to the idea. The captain handled it masterfully. Within a few hours, handouts and contact numbers started appearing in my email...

Which gives me two days to design a student packet, polish two classes, create a PowerPoint and get it all vetted and approved. While working on the galleys. And teach a First Aid class. Maybe get some writing done. A workout would be nice. Start learning a language...

1 comment:

Steve Perry said...

So, you ready to say which language yet?