It Must be for Good Reason

Something a coworker said yesterday left me unsettled. I’ve spent a lot of time sending separate contracts to the same people for different performances, mainly because these performances have come up at different times. Around the time I get all the signed contracts back for one performance, I have to put together a whole new set. And let me tell you: getting artists to return a signed contract in a timely manner is usually a matter of about a dozen follow up emails and calls. Multiply that by two dozen artists and multiple performances and I spend most of my time begging, pleading, and cajoling just to get a signed piece of paper.

So I thought out loud that it would have been so much easier to send one contract encompassing ALL of the performances… For me and for them. My coworker said, “Well if that’s how it’s always been done it must be for good reason.”

Not kidding. My unspoken retort: tell that to the inventor of, well….anything remotely useful. But I realized it was said automatically and so I just let it drop. However, this isn’t the first time this way of thinking has come up and I thought it deserved comment.

I could say it is generational (the coworker here is close to retirement), but I don’t know if that is really the case. Maybe it is just the perspective of someone who has worked long enough to realize that we have to do what we are told in order to get a paycheck, and trying to change how things are done is too complicated and time consuming to be justified (at least for those working in large, institutional type organizations). One thing I am learning: I do not want to work in the bottom level of an institutional organization for long.


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