Monday, July 30, 2007


...a knitting term. For backyard whiffle ball fans, the equivalent of a "do over". Frogging something means removing the work from the needles to pull out stitches until you reach a point before your mistake. You then put the work back on the needles and resume. Of course this means redoing rows of work, and paying attention to what went wrong and where. Or if you're like me - you guess at what might have gone wrong and frog to the last row you know you think you've done right and resume from there.

Can you use knitting terms for the office? Can I say that most of my job seems to involve frogging in one way or another? Our newly adopted software system has caused more frog like reworks and work-arounds than I really want to think about. I am often amazed at how functional the staff here manage to be when surrounded by so much process and policy chaos. Other terms come to mind that I'd like to apply... dropping a stitch, work and turn...

Today I learned that we have to "frog" sixty five appointment letters. The template we were originally told to use (and we did check!) was not the right one and was apparently overly complicated (pencil pusher speak for "needs too many signatures"). By all means, let us do it the hard way first... sixty. five. times. Let the boss sign his name to those sixty five letters, and we'll make copies to file, and pass along to the next person in the Please Sign Here list. THEN tell us that what actually should happen has fewer steps and is a more direct way to do things. When you call us to tell us this, beat around the bush and begin by saying that we sure do have a lot of letters for you to process, more than last year. Explain in detail how this adds to your workload. Slip in the mention of a new and "more appropriate" template. After twenty minutes of what you probably like to call process analysis, make sure you draw out the ominous and pregnant pause that follows my question "What you're saying is that we need to redo all of these letters". Acknowledge in a breezy, friendly way that it's a "big fat pain in the butt". Speak in a constructive manner about "working together and not against each other" while making it clear that the butt the big fat pain is in should actually be mine and not yours. Yes, thank you. Please frog yourself.


Joan said...

LOL. Frog is such a depressing word, isn't it? Apologies to Kermit. ;-}

Kate said...

i agree. i even like frogs... but when you're talking about knitting (or work), it is still a four letter word that starts with F.