The Shawshank Reflection

Nhurhurhur.  You said wood.
It’s that time of year at my company when invitations to sit at the high table are extended to select members of the rabble. In other words: promotions.

Or, in my case: crickets chirping.

This is hardly surprising if you consider my poor people skills and mutant ability to annoy members of management at fifty paces, but I still have mixed feelings about it. When I joined Hell Inc. all those years ago, I had high hopes of being Peter Principled into a senior position where I could truly serve the gods of chaos. Sadly, it seems that it was nothing more than a pipe dream. Engineers often dream about pipes, so the irony is not entirely lost on me.

The part that troubles me the most is that I haven’t actually been “passed over” for advancement. That would imply that the promotees were somehow less deserving than I. Unlike me, most of them are driven, dynamic A-types who like to face the unknown head-on. My mother always said that people like that should be beaten with a stick. I suspect that my mother wouldn’t be a good fit for the modern corporate environment. Anyway, to return to the point, the situation underscores what I’ve known for quite some time: I’ve become institutionalised.

I suppose I could always rustle up a poster of Raquel Welch and crawl through a sewer, but that isn’t vastly different to an average day at the office.

Wait, I know – I’ll complain about it on the internet!


11 thoughts on “The Shawshank Reflection

  1. Did you know the other Peter Principle is that you can’t fall off the floor? Incorrect, as it turns out, particularly if tequila is involved.

    I am with your mom on this one. Quiet subversion from within the ranks is far more your style – guerrilla warfare, the Sapper undermining the enemy tunnels (look, large bore pipes!), more “beneath hill 60”, less Gordon Gekko.

    I reckon good engineers are defined by their ability to piss off management, it is self selecting, like the weak anthropic principle. If management liked you then we would be forced to (yet again) bemoan the selection process of your alma mater and sadly cross you off the list of people we would ask to consult if ever we had a drain issue. So fly that high functioning autism flag proudly my friend, and let’s see who they talk to next time they need someone to “do the math”…


  2. I’ll try again … WordPress does not like me.
    Unfortunately I’ve heard this before, usually emanating from disgruntled Eskom Engineers when we were assessing them for migration to Australia. I hate to mention the term AA but that was our experience when talking to many professionals in South Africa up to the end of 2012 … my son was actually told to his face that he would never get promoted because he was White and last I heard that was still the case. Anyway, misperceptions or otherwise, maybe it’s time you had a change?! 🙂


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