Emmanuel – or Manuel (as in Fawlty Towers)


Last Sunday we had a pulpit exchange amongst three churches in Blackburn north and a minister from a church on Surrey Road spoke. His mention of this being the silly season rang in my ears this morning as I went in to the office to be greeted by a string of emails flying around.

The rush in the shopping centres at this time of the year which churches like ours have bemoaned is often accompanied by an annoying parallel in the workplace. In a corporation like the one I’m working for, somehow the rush to get stuff signed before Christmas/New Year never goes away. My cynical mind tells me the smoke and mirrors that prop up places like these, require reports to show things have been done. To-do lists and task list need be marked off to evince accomplishment within a specified timeframe – in this case the calendar year is obviously the parameter.

I was asked to work on a document last week and proposed some communications to people affected by that document. I sent that communication to the relevant senior executive late last week (Thursday) and this morning I was asked to provide an update. I said I had not heard back from that senior executive and was asked to remind that person as senior executives are presently distracted by a range of matters now.

Similarly, in a discussion with the boss yesterday, I was told the Board is presently “a bit twitchy” and so there is a need to manage communications more closely.

I can’t say it is the silly season per se which caused all this running around in a sense of near panic at so much to do and so little time to do it in, but I am quite certain it doesn’t alleviate it to say the least. I get the bit about people going away for a few weeks and wanting to ensure as much gets resolved as possible before that. To stress for weeks – often unnecessarily – to make that happen however, almost make the whole thing a bit of a self-created much ado about nothing.

Yesterday I spoke to an external adviser who, after nearly a week of sweating over some advice he provided, came one big circle to land on nearly the same spot. Much ado about nothing has a resonance about it on many occasions in corporate space but at a time like the silly season, when I get to ask “what does this all mean”, it resonated more resoundingly.

It’s one week to Christmas Eve. Emmanuel? We’re too silly in this season with all our busy-ness to make Him welcome, I’m afraid.

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