Friday, May 14, 2010


I have recently become a fan of Better Off Ted. Katy has been watching it for a long time, commenting on it here on the blog, and telling me about it. I didn't watch it. I only started watching it because we got a verra nice blue ray player with wireless internet access that plays Netflix movies on demand on your tv. And one of the things you can play on demand is Better Off Ted. So I watched an episode. Then I watched the season. It is really funny.

The problem is that, no offense to Katy, nobody else seems to watch it! And that sucks because it's got some references that I really really want to use. Chief among them is the Jaberwocky project. Jaberwocky was the name of an entirely fake project that Ted made up at work to hide some minor malfeasance he had engaged in (with the best of intentions). The project came under scrutiny, so he had to lie about it more and more, biggering it and biggering it without ever saying what it was. He couldn't say what it was because, well, it didn't exist. By the end of the episode he was giving a national presentation, with huge wall size Powerpoint, flashing lights, and sound effects, to tell the company about Jaberwocky, which would change the way they did business in all sorts of nonspecific but cool ways. The company loved the presentation, and prioritized Jaberwocky to the point that they moved the project to Japan for rapid development. Where of course it vanished.

Jaberwocky is this phenomenal example of what I see at work all the time. Every few months there is a new initiative, and every year a Big Push to revolutionize what we do and how we do it so that we will be setting the trend for all of health care for years to come. And when you come right down to it, the projects are big on hype, HUGE on hype, with very few details, no tangible change, and no evidence that they would have worked even if they were really applied (which they seldom are). But man, they sound cool, so everyone talks about them for a few months. Everyone tries to sound like they are acting in the spirit of the program, whatever it is, although nobody changes what they do and most don't even understand what the program is anyway. And then the center just keeps on rolling.

So now, having seen this episode, when I see these initiatives, including the very latest that was rolled out last month, to the tune of $7,000,000 in national training, all I can think is "It's Jaberwocky people! It's big, it's impressive, it's the next great thing, and it's absolutely nothing!" But since nobody has seen the damn show, nobody gets my quote! I've explained it so often now they at least know what I'm saying, but it's just not the same. Not the same at all. Sigh.

So moral is: most of corporate life is Jaberwocky, and if you don't understand that watch the damn show.


Katy said...

Perfect timing as ABC announces that the show is likely canceled:

It's totally still worth watching the season, though, if only for the therapy. As Shifter mentions, if you work anywhere remotely corporate, you'll find plenty to amuse and console you.

Seeker said...

I loved that show...which means it WILL be cancelled. Good commentary.

Phil: We can't leave work in the middle of the day. We're not Somali pirates!

Commercial: The Veridian Foundation... helping the world then telling people about it makes us feel so good. The Veridian Foundation... Helping people. By telling people we're helping the world