Report writing

A friend recently had to produce a report at work. A tight deadline caused significant stress, and an important topic meant that it felt like it mattered. However when asked if they thought anyone would read it the reply was — no.

I so clearly remember, in my first managerial job, being faced with a blank page in Word and the expectation that I would generate dozens of pages filled with — I knew not what. So I dug out an old document I had been sent, copied the structure, and began attempting to fill it in with content as relevant to my topic as I could manage. Much of it was padding. My language was stilted and awkward.

Another friend was recently presented with the results of a similarly pointless effort. Forty pages of wasted life. When they asked if the person who wrote it would ever read something like that themselves the answer was no. "THEN WHY DO YOU EXPECT ME TO?!" They replied.

Why do we subject each other to this nonsense? What if we all agreed to stop?