Middling is a word that sounds like it should be used to describe a small, oddly footed mythical being, like a satyr, or a Hobbit or stripper. Far from that glorious sound, it means, fair, average or meh. Pithy and inconsequential, but a necessary measure. Otherwise how would know if things were larger or small? We need the middling to differentiate.
Despite the needs and the talk of cogs and well oiled machines, middle management sucks. Your are completely alienated, in that you don’t have any real power or control, but you have to act as if you do. You can’t make any real decisions, but are forced to make lots of annoying little ones. Like when that dude that sits in that cube over there who lords his advance degree over you like an academic hatchet, can take his stupid vacation days. Or if you can trust your Photoshop/blogger to work from home. You can’t. “I’ve got a leaky toilet again” is definitely code for cocaine hang over. Or what stupid platform to build your next website on. I guess that last one is a little important.
Your job as middling manager is to:
- Make your boss look good. He is definitely going to ask you to make a Power Point that will invariably be much better than he could ever make it, especially because it will be chock full of your ideas.
- Make your boss feel good. And I don’t mean hand jobs. This isn’t Mad Men. I mean, you will be his shield from the rest of the staff. He gets to say, “We’re going to have to cut the budget by 30%.” And you have to go tell people that they don’t have jobs any more. Wouldn’t a hand job just be easier?
- Make sure the copier has toner. Who else is going to do it? You think the office manager gives a shit? She’s too busy giving the FedEx guy hand jobs in the freight. You think she might be able to give one to the boss?
Does the world need middling managers? Sure. Do I love that middling sounds like meddling and that makes me think of Scooby Doo? Absolutely! Does that make me feel like my job is more like solving mysteries? Nope. But until I implement my exit strategy, it’s all I’ve got to make me feel like the days have endings and I can feed my three legged cat.
So how is my day job just like waffles? It’s hard going down without being slathered in butter and syrup. Waffles are gross with out stuff on top.