Due the day before yesterday, as it happens, and I am preternaturally inclined to postpone any and every similar task, be it a census form or the annual “activity” report required of all faculty members at SMU. Name, rank and serial number notwithstanding, I see blanks and I go blank. Or I go to Zuma Blitz instead and play a couple dozen games. Believe it or not, the forms do not magically disappear when you ignore them. There it is now. Right there.
Right up top is the stuff they need for the copyright page, a few other sundry questions thrown in. Place of birth? The hospital, I believe, although I’m not really sure who needs to know this. Then there’s the description (already whined about on an earlier post), but a.k.a. in that same section as a “Statement of Purpose.” Which sends me immediately into post-traumatic flashback mode, reverted to any number of unfortunate meeting rooms where seemingly rational adults debated “Mission Statements”–it goes without saying always to no good end. This was and remains one of those pernicious bleed-overs from the world of corporate America, where some d-bag decided that the reason his company fleeced more rubes than the one down the street was because all of his minions could recite the corporate mantra: Tasty Chicken, Smiling Suckers, Fewer Sliced-off Fingers. He made his second or third fortune convincing schools and arts organizations to hire him to improve their “outcomes” by sitting around conference tables and spending a week or so inventing their own “statements of purpose.” To wit, this blast from my mission statement past: High Tech, High Touch, High Teach: God help you if that sounds the least bit familiar.
The next four pages of the questionnaire are all about slinging product, and do I really have to think about that today?
Yeah, I’m just not gonna. Tomorrow at Tara, I think. In the meantime, how’s this for purpose:
To Serve My Readers With a Quality and Safe Page-Turning Experience While Maximizing Profits in a Competitive Bookselling Environment.
Tomorrow morning I’m having T-shirts printed up with my new motto. Order yours now.