Monday, April 03, 2006

"My Door Is Always Open..."

The above is used so often by supervisors/managers/execs that it's beyond being a cliche. But a veteran animation supervisor gave me a new perspective on it this afternoon... She said that when a lead actually DOES have an "0pen Door" policy, the lead never broadcasts it or talks about it. The open door just IS. The supervisor makes himself available to provide advice...or information...or simple feedback. The way you know there isn't an open door, free-flow-of-info policy is when the supervisor keeps proclaiming it, over and over... "I want someone to tell me," Lieutenant Scheisskopf beseeched them all prayerfully. "If any of it is my fault, I want to be told." "He wants someone to tell him," Clevinger said. "He wants everyone to keep still, idiot," Yossarian answered. "Didn't you hear him," Clevinger argued. "I heard him," Yossarian replied. "I heard him say very loudly and very distinctly that he wants every one of us to keep our mouths shut if we know what's good for us." "I won't punish you," Lieutenant Scheisskopf swore. "He says he won't punish me," said Clevinger. "He'll castrate you," said Yossarian. -- Joseph Heller, Catch 22


Nick Sung said...

something to think about-
I should finally get around to reading catch-22. thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

We should definitely all read "Catch-22"! That passage perfectly describes the one time in my career when I took an exec/producer's repeated offer to come in the "always open door" and have a chat. It was a pleasant, non-committal talk, everything was great, friendly, etc.etc; I felt like I'd made a good connection with a previously remote person in the filmmaking process...then I discovered that all my higher ups were furious that I'd done such a thing. I guess the exec in question was too, although I got no vibe of that at all in his presence. Apparently they'd never expected in a million years that any artist would have the gall(or naivete?) to actually DO it. Live & learn!

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