Twice is once, once is none at all
Humans have a natural propensity to check things. If you hear someone say what the time is you’ll probably look at your watch. If you read what the weather might be you check the sky. If you see George Osbourne walking down the road towards you you’ll check your wallet to make sure he’s not secretly managed to empty it.
So with this in mind I can totally understand it when people in the office want to check that what we are planning on releasing to the public says what it should say according to the official line.
I’m currently running a project which needs a survey produced and advertising for this to run in our local newspaper. I duly produced the survey and accompanying press release and got them ready for sign off by my line manager.
They wanted to check it, so sent the survey link to their manager and the press release to our comms department. The survey was okayed but they wanted to check that the intro text was right, so spoke directly to comms.
Comms gave them what they saw as the correct information, which turned out to be the text I had originally produced and which they were checking at the same time. This sated my manager’s manager’s need to be correct so they signed off the survey, so my manager could give it back to me and I could get it online.
So I ended up waiting for three days whilst my work was sent around to several different (and senior) people who could read it and then use it to prop up the other work that was being signed off by other senior people, only to end up with it all sent back to me with no changes and three lost days.
Who says there’s too much bureaucracy in local government?