Notes from Work

Doodling through my meetings - an old habit. This time, though, I can't make fun of my co-workers, even when they're acting stupid.


"Very Serious People"

I like Paul Krugman - I've at least mentioned him a few times on this blog - and particularly appreciate how he captures an idea in a phrase (e.g., the Confidence Fairy).

I was reminded of his phrase "Very Serious People" the other day. It started in a meeting when someone noted that we had an unspent balance in the part of the budget set aside for something particular, and that there were a couple programs that the group could quickly pull together that would fulfill the function and stay within the budget.  So far so good?

The "Very Serious Person" objected, worrying about the budget, about the outlays, what about setting something aside for next year, etc. Very Serious Things to worry about!

Except that the budget he was talking about was completely distinct - I can elaborate in the comments if necessary - and the money that had been set aside for this purpose had already been sitting there for several years (because it can't do anything else, having been set aside). Sorry if this is too abstract - it was along the lines of saying, "this county can't afford that outlay, because the state budget is already in the red!"

I think that was clear to almost everyone else in the room: the objections sound very serious, making hard decisions because someone has to, but in fact were completely irrelevant.

I wouldn't be worried about this so much if he weren't on a path to take a significant position of leadership sometime soon.