Thursday, December 27, 2007

Passion Killers

picture by rogiro

Bureaucracy is really like very old underwear: a total passion-killer.
So I got this amazing opportunity to carry on this research project at work. It's a collaborative project funded by a local government agency. The money is there, we got the contacts to make it happen, we have the perfect person to conduct the research, the facilities, the equipment and the energy. The only problem is that we need to go over a huge mountain of papers and people that I don't even know in order to make it happen.
Download this form, fill it up, make the Principal investigator sign it (that btw would be my boss who is in vacations for a month), then route it to this department... then this other one... and then send it back to us, with a budget, the proposal, the scope of work ad then we can start the process to see how to make it work.
Seriously, I feel like shooting myself in the head.
We are literally tied up to a million of rules that I'm sure have a good reason to be in this place, but really, they kill any creativity.
I've found myself disregarding great ideas and projects because I don't feel like going through the process of figuring out how to make this happen after I've found all the possible resources.
It just kills my drive!
I've also found myself today walking outside my office to cool down my head and talk myself into not getting discouraged and do whatever it takes to make this great opportunity for my offices work out. It was freezing outside so it sort of worked out well. I came back after an hour to my desk ready to tackle the bunch of forms and processes to follow, but i wasn't feeling less frustrated at all.
Well, I found this great post from Lee Brown, an interior designer ranting like I do about bureaucracy in her field of expertise.
Is really hard to get creative and run with your ideas when a huge machine is wrapped up to your neck.

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Art of Letting go

I guess it is a form of art and I totally lack the talent.
I don't know how to let go and how to stop going over and over the same situation until I make everybody sick of it.
Today, I had a student helping me at the office and her chair broke, which caused her to fall and hurt herself really bad. She already has back problems and she has been attending physical therapy. I was really worried so I sent her to the Student Health services, and then I wrote a Memo to my boss about the incident.
I tell you, I was feeling so much like crap, mostly because we don't have the money to buy good furniture so all the stuff we have is recycled furniture from other offices, things that other people doesn't want we reuse it at our office.
When I saw the face of that girl today trying to stop the tears from coming out I felt like a piece of crap. There she is trying to help us and the damn chair breaks on her. And I can't do anything about it. I almost started crying too.
It's so unfair! My office is trying to help a group that is almost 20% of our population and we are set to a building that used to be lockers for the local Football team 50 years ago, and with almost no windows. We can not make any major changes because the building is pre-asbestos era, and if that is not enough they sent us to the basement of said building. All the money we receive (which is very little in comparison to the amount we really need for the things we want to accomplish) has to be used to do the activities and programs that our community needs. My boss barely sleeps working for this Center and doing classes (she is also professor) and I can tell she is really worried about the future of our Research Center given the cuts that projects like ours are experiencing from State and Federal funding.
Last weekend I didn't even sleep working to prepare a meeting to be able to get support and I think it was successful, but we won't be able to tell until we receive some money as an outcome from that.
New furniture is not in our budget and is not really affordable.
I wish that somebody could donate some nice furniture. I'm so sick of all the almost useless stuff. I'm very lucky we were able to secure money to buy me a good computer that actually shows the images on the screen. But I'm afraid that is where the magic ends.