Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Conversation with K

Every Tuesday morning at work I attend a recurring project meeting. This project ("Project F", which deals with network design) is a touchy one since it's being sponsored by our company's holding company and the holding company is also the owner of other company's that pose a serious data security threat to us. Thus, my role is primarily an obstructive one: to keep the holding company from building a network that compromises our isolation from the other companies and thus exposes our company's management to civil liability. Today that standing meeting didn't happen. The project manager (whom I refer to as "K" below) didn't bother to send out a meeting cancellation -- there was just no meeting. So to document the non-event, I sent this email to my boss.

From: Bob
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 10:53 AM
To: R
Subject: Conversation with K

There was no "Project F" meeting today. So after checking the usual meeting room, I dropped by K's office. While there I pointed out to him that I still haven't gotten a reply to the email I sent him last Thursday (the one J
[a senior manager in our company] asked me to send, and which you, M and D reviewed). He called up my email and verbally updated me on changes to the three proposed options. {For both business and literary reasons I've deleted the explanation I reported in my original note.}

At the conclusion of that explanation, I again asked K to reply to my email and pointed out that we need something in writing so we can either confirm to our management that there have been no significant changes since our last update three weeks ago, or report the changes that affect us. K then explained that he met with J recently, and that J had no issues with either option 2 or 3.

I thanked him for the update about J, and then I again explained that we need an email reply either confirming that nothing significant has changed or else detailing the changes that affect us. Two more rounds of K's explanation and my asking for a written reply followed. My last words as I left were, "Please reply to my email." K just smiled. (And my wife wonders why I talk to the radio.)


Gladys said...

Wait who is on first?

The Flyer said...

We have something similar happen a lot here in the South Seas, typically with people from whom we would like replies (or results). Usually, we aren't in a position to do much more than ask over and over and over...

joyce said...

maybe he doesn't know how

JP said...

Sounds like a lot of the folks I have to work with over here.

He is trying to avoid accountability by not putting anything in writing. It is easy to deny responsibility when a problem degrades into a "he said, he said" situation; much harder when decisions have been recorded by one's own hand. I would recommend that you keep a full court press on him, and cease all forward momentum on the project until he replies, but I'm sure you already know that...