Friday, December 09, 2011


What is it with my business clients? Well, I'll tell you what it is.

It's the end of the year and if they don't blow their budgets by December 31, some corporate uberfuhrer will say, "Well, obviously we allocated too much money to you in 2011, so we're cutting your budget for 2012."

In other words, it's use it or lose it time. Which means hapless scribblers like me get called out to produce great stuff, in great gobs, under great pressure, until the end of the year.

Where were all these guys in September when I needed them? Shepherding their budgets, of course, so that they wouldn't get caught short in case an unexpected, umm, situation came along that would demand a big expenditure.

For the top guys in American business, it's all about stuffing their pockets with huge wads of cash that would otherwise fall into the hands of their employees, or their stockholders, or in the form of lower prices to their consumers.

But for the poor shlubs in middle management it's about playing Goldilocks and the Three Bears. They spend not too much, not too little, but just right – until the end of the last quarter when they dump their budgets like a drug dealer pursued by a police car, desperately throwing bags of cocaine out the window.

Listen, I'm not complaining about the middle guys. Thanks to them, I've survived for the past 20 years living on the crumbs that fall off corporate America's table.

Same as the middle management guys and all the rest of us, come to think of it.

So I'll see you when I'm back to complaining that I'm not getting any work.

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