I did a kind of scary thing today: I asked not 1, but 2 questions in front of ~1000 people. As big a mouth as I’ve been accused of having As articulate as I can be, and as easy as it seems like it’d be, it wasn’t.

The company I’m working at right now (aka “the everywhere place”) just reorg’d. and “laid off” some people. To use some other corpspeak terms those people were “attritted,” or “RIF’d” (Reduction In (work) Force). Corporate America is nothing if not obfuscative (a word I just made up)…

Anyway, these changes were just announced so nobody (I’ve talked to) really knows the implications of all this change yet. I basically had one question having to do with how I would get my job done (yes, it’s still about me).

Unfortunately for me (not really) I mentioned to some co-workers that this (particular question) was all I really wanted to know. Of course, they ‘encouraged’ me to ask, I’m hoping in the spirit of collegiality and because they wanted to know too. And in my what turned out to be prematurely confident voice I said, “Sure I’ll ask.”

The weird part is that I’m not usually hesitant to ask when I have a question or comment or suggestion, but in a large crowd like that, you (especially) don’t want to look like this guy at my old job who asked our CIO in a ~200 person meeting why we couldn’t access weather.com anymore.

And when you look around and see what ~1000 people looks like (size-wise), trust me, you get anxious.

But I asked. Eventually. At the last possible moment. And quietly. And I couldn’t tell you the answer to my ‘real’ question (although I got the essence of the less-important answer). I’ll have to ask my co-workers what the more-important answer was.

While this might prove a little embarrassing (like if I asked a stupid question & didn’t realize it or if people just give me &^%$), at least  I can say that I didn’t see any of them asking questions (well, actually one dept. member did), but only 10 questions from 1000 people means that at least 990 questions went unasked.