I awoke this morning to a number of emails in response to my last post, many of which echoed what Glenn Alteen posted in the comments box: that Mayer knew what he was saying – but why did he say it?
One reason could be that Mayer was speaking not so much to the Canadian public but to the people who hired him – a group that begins with the NGC board and ends with the Prime Minister of Canada (Harper), who, if I’m not mistaken, must approve the appointment.
Mayer’s presentation, though directed at the interviewer (in the same way Ministers of Parliament address the Speaker of the House), reminded me of the work-to-rule strategies undertaken by employees in place of strike action. But instead of slowing down production, Mayer’s form of malicious compliance involved shit-eating grins and repetition (“excellence”).
Is Mayer being strong-armed from above? Could be. As for the motivation behind it (policy direction, budgets), that could be anybody’s guess.