hings are getting ugly out there, British comedy. The wildly overdrawn super-villain
Tbut they could get uglier. With
the threat of unemployment
was getting his come-uppance at the end of the
film by being buried alive up to his neck in the
seeming to loom over everyone in the nation, desert sands. He only seemed to have strength
it seems we might start looking at colleagues enough to beg for anything, anything that would
or clients as competitors or even as enemies. slake his thirst. However, the liquid his parched
Euphemistic names for the process are lips called for over and over was “Champagne!
disintermediation, reorganization, or even Champagne!” Somehow it left the audience
paradigm shifts. Uglier names are RIF (reduction feeling that we haven’t seen the end of this villain
in force), layoffs, shutdowns, closures, etc. after all. Even in the middle of a downturn, some
Regardless of the situation, the wisest course things have an upside. If we only look for the least
to follow is the course of wisdom. Calm, clear, we can expect, that’s all we’ll get.
insightful observation of reality plus a vision of What should we look for? Well, questions
what the future might bring — buttressed come to mind. After all, we are in the answer
business. What more appropriate source for
How can we weather the storm guidance than questions? Break down the tasks
you perform and attach them to the questions —
and maybe even surf the waves and questioners — they answer. Of course, as
you trim your budgets, you may already be doing
to a lovely Caribbean isle ... this for economy’s sake. But look at it as a guide
to promoting the value of the services you
provide. Look at it in terms of promotion for
throughout by quality information gathering — those services and in terms of promoting you
should provide the best navigation tools for personally, e.g., in a resume. Look at your
stormy seas. And if warmth towards those questioners too. Who do they serve and how?
around us starts to cool as the gales blow, Could you expand their utility to their clients or
perhaps even leading us to regard colleagues superiors with more and/or different information?
and clients as pirates trying to steal our budgets Could you serve those clients or superiors directly?
or job functions, a prudent and long-term view Hey! It’s not piracy if it ends up keeping the ship
of the future should remind us that networks of you’re on from sinking.
strong contacts may offer protection and succor Just as important — maybe more — as
if the storms continue to rage. looking at the questions you get is looking at
So what’s an info pro to do in these tough the questions you don’t get. Why not? Why does
times? How can we weather the storm and maybe this department or subagency or particular type
even surf the waves to a lovely Caribbean isle, of functionary in the institution you serve never
where charming waitstaff stand smiling with seem to call? Are they just know-it-alls? Are they
outstretched trays bearing umbrella-adorned so “dead head” they consider their existing skill
mai-tais and margaritas? Unlikely? Perhaps. set eternally adequate? Or are they getting their
But I’ve never forgotten a scene from a long-ago continued on page 6
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Vice President, Content
text continued from page 4 I might even offer to do some write-up