Saturday, May 9, 2009


I hit the jackpot yesterday. I did not thank god for this particular Friday, on which all of the following transpired.

Win: The Telecommuting Policy

We’re allowed to work from home one day a week. (My day is Tuesday.) However, when we’re under the gun and a proposal deadline is posted on our Big Board, that policy is suspended. The application of the policy is as clear as mud. To wit:

From one proposal coordinator to staff: “We only have 3 weeks to support this effort. The following weeks will be busy weeks—lots of graphics, DTP, etc. So please do NOT plan on working from home starting next week till due date.” (policy #1)

From the proposal center manager to me (in response to my question, “If no editing takes place next week or the week after, can I work from home on 5/12 and 5/19?”): “If you cannot see how you can help during this time, then you may work from home.” (policy #2)

From our second proposal coordinator to staff: “There’s no working at home the week a proposal is due.” (policy #3)

Place: The Acronym List

One of my responsibilities is to put together a list of acronyms and key terms, extracted from a Request for Proposal as soon as we receive the RFP. The list is a style guide for the proposal writers.

I spent a few hours on Friday doing a list for an upcoming proposal effort. I sent it to the proposal manager for his review/approval.

His response to me: “We will probably not use 50% of the Acronyms on this list in our proposal. . . . Go through our Pink Team folder, through each of the drafts, highlight those we use; we can later delete the rest.” So, first, writing has commenced before anyone asked me to provide an acronym list and, two, the proposal manager (a contractor) has decided that we will abandon our procedure of using the RFP as the basis for the list.

Show: Memory Like a Sieve

The proposal center manager asked me to do a “quick edit” (i.e., one hour) of a 45-page white paper for corporate HQ. First, I already edited it, a couple of weeks ago. Second, I have told her repeatedly that, for obvious reasons, no editor can edit 45 pages in one hour!