Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Three Distinct Business Communities of Carbondale

It is often helpful to start thinking about things in a very black and white  way.  In the most simple case, Carbondale is divided into 3 distinct business areas: SIUC; Medical; and everyone else.  It is interesting how few people know of anything outside of their own business area.

Like most people in the "everyone else" category, I'm interested in SIU.  We all follow SIU, because most of us are in the service businesses, that support SIU, their employees and students.  We know who is naughty and nice in SIU management.  We hear all the rumors.  When I talk to professors, they are always amazed by how much more I have heard about University Politics then they have.  When you are making money on people, and not making money by sitting in your office staring at a black board, you need to know.

I know nothing about the medical community in Carbondale.  I'm not sure that anyone, outside of the medical community does.  I figure, they are like the mafia, in Good Fellows, we are the chumps, and many/most are using the general public as boat payment plans.  It is hard to party with the chumps, when you are feeding off of them.

The "everyone else" group is your standard collection of small business men, insurance agents, restauranteurs, and a few fools like me.  I think that we believe that if there is to be economic growth in Carbondale, if the number of students doesn't suddenly turn around, it had better come from us.  We also know how incredibly difficult it is to deal with the City of Carbondale, and their economic development arm, the CDBC.  In particular, if you aren't a local.

I remember when I used to have comments.  I guess you shouldn't stop blogging for 5 years, if you want that to continue. :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Lost Card File

I enjoy looking at business cards, that people have discarded.  It is almost a hobby.  I find one on the ground and try to figure out, did someone drop it on accident, toss it in disgust, or was it a failed hand-off?

Found a card at the end of last week, in the parking lot across from the Student Center.  It is for Chad Trisler - Director - Students Rights and Responsibilities.  After reading the department name, I had a big flash of Animal House, "fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son."

I have to wonder if SIUC had a 4 civil service, many student workers, department/empire to accomplish this task 30 years ago?  As I remember, there was one person associated with Student Life to handle it in 1980.

Makes me wonder, who Chad was talking to that day, and why did they throw his card down in a parking lot?

The Great Deception of the Lazy

I went to one of Ed Benyas's Summer Concerts a few weeks ago.  There was an intermission, and I was standing in the lobby, talking to a friend and another guy who I didn't know.  A former SIU Administrator (hereafter referred to as TA) walked up.  TA has a special place in my heart, because I wrote in this blog that he should be fired, 6 or 8 years ago.  TA greeted the other two people, and gave me a cold shoulder.  OK, fair enough, I did write that TA was worthless and should be fired.

At that moment, I again realized the great deception of TA.  TA is lazy, didn't love the work, was a bad manager, who sat on top of a large and worthless organization at SIU.  TA doesn't like me, because I wrote about it.  What TA is deceiving itself about is some idea that everyone didn't know that they were doing a terrible job.  Let me tell you, if you suck at your job, everyone around you knows.  Just because they are polite or worried about politics, doesn't mean they are stupid.  Even worse, by being a bad manager TA dragged down the performance of the 50+ people that worked for that group.

When I was writing my lists of Worst Administrators of the Year, and Best Administrators of the Year back then, I wasn't hearing from my readers, friends or family, I was wrong.  I heard I was right, about other people I should call out for doing a good or bad job.  When I came out against Sheila Simon's run for mayor of Carbondale, I received dozens (if not 100's) of replies, suggestions and complaints.  But, TA?  The people who worked for TA wrote me messages congratulating me on my good choice.

If you want to make SIU better, you would need a system where there is management, and consequences for not working.

Of course, your comments are welcome.