Best Practices

Superintendent of Routine Obstacles

Published May 05, 2011 by Maria Meyers

U.S.SourceLink has been working on a project for a group in Saudi Arabia called The Centennial Fund. The organization supports business owners by providing microloans.  While translating documents one day from Arabic to English, a title for a government employee became “Superintendent of Routine Obstacles.”  I’m sure that this was far from the real translation of the title, but I had to laugh.

Sometimes I think my job is “Superintendent of Routine Obstacles.” I guess I always seem to be starting something new and that new stuff is usually hard, doesn’t often work out right the first time, forces me to make too many decisions faster than I would like to and often requires one step forward and one step back.  

Sometimes we are flying along and other times we are regrouping, rewiring and slogging along like we are moving rocks.  Some mornings it seems like I’m facing the same issues that I tried to solve the day before and the day before that and the day before that.  One obstacle after another.

But then something happens, people line up, the contract gets signed, the proposal goes out, the funding comes in, the latest new hire is a brilliant addition to the team. Those are the days we live for.