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Office Politics

Nick Zima pulled me aside today and said:

"I'm not sure this guy Dinton even exists."

This, coming from my own personal Easter Bunny.   

I'm not sure if I should refer to Nick Zima as Smithee now or just stick to Nick Zima to keep things straight.  Not that Nick Zima is his real name either. I'm sure it's just a stage name. His real name is probably something like Bill or Bob. But I don't want to accidentally call him Nick Zima in public, so I'd better just call him Smithee from now on. Or Easter Bunny.

Dinton exists all right. He just doesn't want anyone to know where he is so that everyone thinks he's busy doing something important. He's the VP of Data Warehousing but he is never doing anything important. This used to be a problem because he always had trouble pretending to do important things, so it appeared like he was doing nothing, which he was. So he decided that if he could never be found, people would always think he was doing something important, even though he never was. This has worked out very well for him. However, the fact remains, you can never find Dinton when you need to find him. 

"Why do you need to find Dinton?" I asked.

"Well, because Kornfeld asked me to get some data for him and apparently this guy Dinton keeps all the data in a big house."

"Warehouse," I said. "Data warehouse."

"Yeah, whatever."

"Not 'whatever'," I said. "You need to at least speak the same language. And you need to understand how to manage office politics."

Smithee didn't understand what I was getting at, nor did he seem to have any interest. He had no idea what he was getting himself into.

"You're not responsible for data," I said. "Someone asked Kornfeld for data which he can only get from Dinton but he knows he can't find Dinton because Dinton is hiding from everyone so that he appears to be doing something even though he's doing nothing." 

At that moment Smithee's apathetic look began transforming into something that would ultimately resemble a drowning victim.   

"So he managed over the task to you because you're the new guy," I continued. "Now that he's given you the task and you've accepted, he doesn't care if you get the data or not. Because when he's asked for the data again he can say he's waiting on you."

"I'll just say I couldn't find Dinton," he said defensively.

"And they'll say, you couldn't find Dinton because you didn't look hard enough."

Smithee sat there racking his brain trying to figure out the answer. But he wasn't nearly smart enough nor experienced enough with office politics to ever come up with the solution.

"The problem needs to be averted at the time someone like Kornfeld tries to manage over one of his own tasks. At that point, you need to manage back."

"How do you know when to manage back?"

"It's like a porn actress fucking a dude on camera and asking you to come over and stand in for her to take the money shot in the face. You gonna let that happen?"

"Fuck no!"

Now he was getting the picture.

I realized that if I was going to use the "real" Smithee to my advantage, I had to teach him at least the basics about office politics and technology.

So... Let the courses begin... 

Reader Comments (7)

Start the Rocky music...

January 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVinny

Possibly not the greatest idea.. unless you'd like to grant this guy an extended stay as your boss. Also, lessons should be compensated for, possibly in the form of liquor. The guy's getting paid for this, and only because of you. Milk it.

January 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFishy5

I agree Fishy5. Zima has manipulated the situation enough and I don't want to hand him the tools to manipulate it further. However, I also don't want him to expose himself, which by extension, will expose me. I'll teach him the basics, but also mislead him along the way. Ultimately, he needs to want to leave. Otherwise, there could be trouble for me. And I hate trouble for me...

January 6, 2008 | Registered CommenterJason X

I'd be careful. If this guy likes this gig so much he goes and makes for sure he's getting paid for it, I doubt he wants to leave. He may try to get rid of you, he is your "boss". It would appear harmless to those who don't know what's going on, and I think he knows that. What ever happened to the porno? Is McKinney pissed he lost he male actor?

January 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Damn, you guys are all over this. And it's a good point Dan. It's all about manipulation, and I'll bet I'm better at it than Smithee. But I'm not going to get too cocky. I'll watch my step. I've got to get '08 turned around for me. I don't like it so far...

January 7, 2008 | Registered CommenterJason X

Don't sweat it...Smithee needs you more than you need him. Without you, he'd be exposed, but you still have to play your cards right here. Timing is going to be everything. So you'll teach him a few tricks of the trade, but NEVER enough to be dangerous too soon or EVER. Then he'll leave on his own and you get promo'd. Simple enough.

January 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRawDeal is Tech Babe

Play this well Jason. Maybe get a nice raise out of it too? haha.

January 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBob

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