Thursday, July 22, 2004

I concur

All right – I’m off to my eight hour interrogation, I mean interview, but thought I’d have just enough time for one more brief observation. Yesterday I had a second interview at a different company that went really well. The first interview I had there was with the head of the department, who is ultimately the person who will decide my fate. However, even though he thought I was outstanding and that his company would crumble without my marketing genius to guide it (I’m paraphrasing), he said that he wanted me to meet with the people who would be my peers, “just to see if the chemistry is there.”
Now, I have no problem doing that whatsoever – I want to make sure my co-workers have a pulse, too. But this started me thinking about a problem that has truly reached epidemic proportions in our country – it seems as though no one is willing to make a decision independently anymore. Everything has to go to a committee who must then confer with the sub-committee before passing it on to the advisory board so they can check with the partners who must run it past the consultants to make sure it pleases the stockholders.
I mean, if my background is a solid fit, and I’ve convinced the head guy that I can do the job, why should it matter whether or not my co-workers think I seem nice or fun? I’ll tell you why – it matters because people are paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong decision. The same goes for this interview today – why would you possibly even want the opinions of twelve different people, unless you’re the defense attorney in a murder trial? Why must everyone’s voice be heard? I know from personal experience that when more than four or five of the voices in my head express an opinion, I become completely ineffective.
My theory on this is that because we’re forced to make so many trivial decisions on a daily basis, when it finally comes to the big ones, we’re just emotionally and intellectually spent. Skim or whole? Asiago or poppy seed? Fries or cole slaw? Paper or plastic? Regular or premium? Menthol or lights? Scratch-n-win or Powerball? 80 or 100 proof?
And that was just during my lunch break! Enough already!
Maybe I’m just way off base with this. Maybe I’m drawing conclusions where they don’t exist because I just happened to run into a few situations that supported this wild theory. Maybe most people don’t crave constant affirmation that their opinions are valid. I don’t know, what do you guys think?