What makes a band special for me is the comradery of a band, like the crew of the USS Enterprise.
I think I have experienced that type of comradery with one band in my life and also came close to experiencing that type of a working relationship when I worked in the studio in Pittsburgh.
But today I was thinking about the reality blow to the gut that I took when I left the studio and went to work in a regular non artistic business.
The studio had five or six people who worked there on a daily basis. I was one of them and most of the others were people I had played with in the band I referenced above.
I left the studio and went to work for a distributor/manufacturer. You can’t get too much more removed from the arts then going to work for an industrial distributor.
The new company had around twenty employees when I started.
I remember one day after I had just started my new job I went into the purchasing manager’s office along with my boss.
I was just a lowly contract administrator and this was my first job in a “regular” or “normal” company that I decided to really care about. I had two young kids, a wife and we were trying to find a new house since we had just moved back to the area. So I was pretty gung ho on doing a good job and doing it right.
I always figured the best way to move up is do what’s best for the company and I assumed everyone else had that common goal. Just like everyone in the band wants the band to succeed, at least in the perfect band.
So my boss at the time, who was a real piece of work and my outlasting him at the company is a testimonial to my ability to work with others, starts questioning the purchasing manager about the issue that brought us to his office in the first place.
He’s laying into him pretty good about not fully understanding the requirements for what he was buying. The purchasing manager had missed some important information that needed to be flowed down to the supplier. This error caused the parts to be out of compliance with the customer’s ordering data.
My boss was being the usual jerk that he could be when confronting others and finally the purchasing manager shot back with these words. “Well if sales wouldn’t make the mistakes they do I wouldn’t have made this mistake.”
Here comes the bus and he was looking for the first body he could throw under it.
I don’t think he even realized or cared to realize just how ridiculous a statement that was.
He was saying his error was due to other people making errors. He was refusing to take ownership of his actions and to learn and improve.
Looking back I can understand why he may have said that. That boss of mine at the time could be a real asshole and had backed him into a corner. My boss did it not because it was necessary to do. He did it just because the purchasing manager allowed him to do it.
So quickly I began to learn that in this business environment there is no hope of joining the crew of the Enterprise. This business as with just about every business and almost everything is about every man, woman, and child for himself.
From that point on I knew it was CYA (Cover Your Ass) and watch your back.
After twenty six years and nothing any different I am ready to get out.
But I’m still looking for my Enterprise crew.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.