"Everybody Look Busy"

Apr 20 2009 Published by under Day in the life of DrugMonkey

Maybe it is just me but just when local institutions are feeling the pinch and squeezing their investigators.....there seems to have been a flurry of emails from the brass. Deans and Vice-Whatnots have increased their production of *announcements several fold. Is this just me? I've been seeing this from more than one institution.
I'm reminded of the old bit of advice as to what to do given that Jesus is coming...
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*Many of course announcing some new management hire which is just.....really, really, really bad PR in this day and age. (Here's a hint on that one...your golden geese NIH grant drones don't want to hear it. Really.)

12 responses so far

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    Many of course announcing some new management hire which is just.....really, really, really bad PR in this day and age.

    Yeah, but they have to be seen to be doing something or people might suspect that there are better uses for their pay. See Parkinson's Law for a full explanation.

  • Yeah, I've noticed this, too.

  • cashmoney says:

    Perhaps they will start twittering and make every sucker on campus follow them as their next ploy?

  • Another biomedical researcher says:

    Yep, true at my institution as well.

  • neurolover says:

    uh huh.
    I think they're following some management gibberish about keeping us informed about what's happening, because if they don't, we'll spend our time gossiping at the coolers about what might be happening.

  • Luigi says:

    Those are typical cheap management tricks:
    http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/expert/KnowledgebaseAnswer/0,289625,sid11_gci1349728,00.html
    Where is Wally Bock when you need him?
    http://blog.threestarleadership.com/2009/04/17/boost-the-troops-morale--whoohooo.aspx
    The most useful thing I have seen where I am is that our grants & contracts office started a blog. Mostly so far it just contains comments & questions from various people. Like "The Adobe form doesn't seem to...", and "My program officer said..."
    But it's almost potentially useful! Which is a lot more than I can say about most administrative efforts lately that don't involve simply getting out of faculty's way.

  • Mad Hatter says:

    Oh, yeah. Lots of mass emails from the chancellor, the dean, and the department chair. All of them have been completely bipolar: our endowment has decreased by X% and nobody should expect the usual yearly salary increase and we are laying off people to cut costs...BUT we have the best students, staff and faculty in the world and we shall prevail!
    Even the Benefits office is sending out all sorts of announcements on why we should still put money into our retirement accounts, how to manage said accounts with the stock market tanking, etc.
    How do I get an email filter that will dump these in my spam folder together with the penis enlargement emails?

  • juniorprof says:

    We've got 'em too, more than I ever imagined possible, including never-ending circular forwarding loops of email death.

  • I remember that I saw a book about how to look busy doing nothing. I think is high time for me to read it...

  • pinus says:

    at post-doc institution (I still get my email) there have been an incredible amount of 'announcements'.
    new institute....not so much...I chalk it up to me not being on all of the annoying email lists yet. 🙂

  • qaz says:

    I just found this paper cited on another blog. Absolutely one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.
    And it seemed remarkably appropriate to this discussion...
    A surrealistic mega-analysis of redisorganization theories.
    http://jrsm.rsmjournals.com/cgi/reprint/98/12/563
    (And yes, it's even on PubMed. I checked.)

  • Dr. Feelgood says:

    My personal and most annoying favorite is that flurry of NIH ARRA based emails that start from the top, and then, at each executive level down the chain, they CC the same fucking email to everyone else...All the way down to my douchebag chair who does the final cc on the same message we have already received 5 times. Its awesome! Cant wait til I begin my chairmanship. I have my cc button ready!!!
    Doc F

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