I heard a phrase in a Ted Talk that I’ve been thinking about: Every snowflake in the avalanche pleads, “Not guilty”. It’s a bit of a paraphrase of Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, who said “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” Indeed.
We’re on the leading edge of making changes to a few processes at work. There’s a bigger contractual reason for the change, but it means that my team will be able to work more efficiently. Which is good news, right? Thing is, I was listening to a presentation where director-level people were pitching these new processes, which means that people who haven’t been doing a good job (And know it. And admit it, even) have to clean up their effort. And for the whole hour of this presentation, it was a mostly non-stop game of not-it. How can we solve the problem by making someone else do the work. There were a fair number of demeaning things that got said, likely because they didn’t realize the extent of the audience for the presentation. Some people get hurt by these kinds of comments, but I just get flat out furious. And I encourage my equally-slighted peers to take up their pitchforks to defend our worth. I get assurances that I didn’t hear what I heard (Yeah, language nerds don’t often misunderstand words, but whatever), which just makes my righteous indignation burn all the brighter.
The current process is broken. The avalanche happens. So where do we go from here, then?
This Advent, may I work toward better things, regardless of my culpability in the current state. This Advent, may all the snowflakes feel a little responsible.