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Unwilling Agents

It’s my second working day in my new capacity (or non-capacity, as many would have it). Before I started, I was anticipating the hoped-for flexibility, as well as hoping for opportunities to apply my skills to. I’ve received both these things, though the second one is something I’m revising my expectations of.

In my previous capacity, I was at the ‘front-line of responsibility’, a concept which makes a metaphor of a situation where the ‘front-line’ is both difficult to control in certain specific ways because it is a long way down the chain of accountability, and easy to fire at because of the sheer number of observable consequences of their actions and non-actions; more often than not, the approach of those nominally accountable and further from the ‘front’ devolves into condemning the cannon-fodder for the things they themselves do not control, as though that expenditure of energy makes up for the things they are not controlling.

Still, at the ‘front’, the experience of the effects of mismanagement and ineptitude is seldom direct, and one seldom sees the face of the promulgator.

It’s my second working day in my new capacity, and today I saw the face of the enemy. One can be inept, and still have agents, albeit unwilling ones, if one has office. Today I was in a foreign office, having swiftly (yet still belatedly) realized that my position was unfavorable after the second exchange of sentences; I barely managed to extricate myself, and I’ll have to be more careful in the future. For now, I’ll have to continue revising my attitude to responsibility and decide how far I’ll be willing to game to be an effective agent.

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