I had a discussion at work with Simon (my partner), Willard (my boss), and Jarvis (Willard’s deputy, but no longer over me). It went something like this:

Me: Willard, we’d like the cover sheet to list the previous five people to touch the packet.

Willard: Why?

Me: Because it will save me from having to click back and forth every time I need to see who the document goes back to.

Jarvis: You should have to click back anyway for document tracking.

Me: Except that I don’t do things that way, I do them this other way.

Jarvis: But if you did them my way, you wouldn’t need the list of people that last touched the document.

Me: But my way is faster.

Jarvis: I don’t see why, it shouldn’t be faster.

Me: But it is.

Jarvis: But it shouldn’t be.

Me: But it is.

Jarvis: Regardless, we want to get rid of the cover sheets anyway.

Me: Why?

Jarvis: You theoretically shouldn’t need them.

Me: But they’re helpful because of the way that I do them. So much so that I will make them by hand if you take the button off the menu.

Jarvis: But it wouldn’t make a difference if you did things the way I would do them.

Me: But I don’t.

Jarvis: But you should.

This is the short version of the conversation. The long version took 90 minutes, had harsher language, and required mutual apologies roughly thirty minutes later. And an admission that we spent 90 minutes debating a procedure that would only shave or add seconds to completion times.

Category: Office

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2 Responses to Debates Sans Utility

  1. Me says:

    Thus is the nature of bureaucracy…

  2. trumwill says:

    {Hit Coffee: Musical Cubicles}

    Jarvis, it seems, took the job at the nuke plant that I declined. Jarvis and I have butted heads a lot in the past, but I have little but respect for him. When we were doing the W-2’s in January, working 55-hour weeks, he would not leave until the last person left. Compared to the managers that would talk about how important something was and be out the door at 5, he stacked up very well. Eventually I told him that he was okay to go home and I didn’t mind working by my lonesome.

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