April 24, 2010

ODP/DMOZ and NDU: Goliaths 2, David 0

In common with other conscientious people, I always try to fulfil my responsibilities to the people I serve. The trouble is that these people are almost never the ones who have been put in charge. This leads to constant battles with "management" as I try to represent the interests of the people I believe I actually work for.
In the case of the Open Directory Project, my efforts have always been for the benefit of fellow volunteer editors and the average web surfer, and at Notre Dame University, my sole motivation is to provide the medical students with the best education possible.

Unfortunately these goals, simple though the y are, frequently run aground on the treacherous sandbanks of bureaucracy and self-interest which characterise the management of most large organisations.

This has happened twice in the last 2 weeks, and in both cases I have had to concede defeat ... for now. I have been variously ignored, ridiculed, and (in the case of ODP/DMOZ) comprehensively stomped on for my impertinence in insisting that those in management positions actually, you know, do something useful to help their organisations.

Unfortunately, when my wounds have healed, I will no doubt take up the battle again, because I simply cannot accept that people with so little respect or consideration for those "beneath" them are entitled to the benefits and privileges of their positions, without being called to account.

One closing comment: while it is heartening to receive a lot of private support from friends and colleagues who have similar concerns about mismanagement, it is somewhat disheartening that they are not prepared to speak up.
That hurts a bit, but it's completely understandable, of course, when they can see the consequences of doing so!

However, I hereby publicly salute two of those friends and colleagues who were bravely conscientious enough to make a stand.
Jim and Keith, you have long been heroes of mine for your aptitude, dedication, honesty and steadfastness.

In these opinions, if no others, I was absolutely correct.

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