9 November 2015

Yesterday's entry reminds me of the bizarre issue that arose with an international governmental project, for which I was contracted to research and write a guide of good practice. The most crucial information within the guide was to come from working groups meeting across Europe. These were scheduled to deliver their reports by the end of some specific month, yet I was soon told that the text of my guide had to be available some months earlier than that. I pointed out that this presented a problem that would seem to require the intervention of a time machine, but I was made to feel I was being awkward. I persisted with my awkwardness, however, until some inadequate fudge was arranged allowing a guide based only on "preliminary conclusions" to be published. Thus a guide appeared as the masters required, although without proper input from the deliberations of the working groups that had been expensively set up to determine the content of the guide. But the masters were happy, for a guide with a nice glossy cover was in their hands in time for a press conference and distribution. I doubt if they ever read it.