Thursday, November 18, 2010

Got Yer Back

I love working in environments where people band together to help each other get things done. Usually, some large percentage of the work you have to deal with is, strictly speaking, outside your bailiwick - but it has to get done. And usually, there's too much work to go around, so you end up having to rely on the help of others - and helping them in turn. And while you might bemoan the late hour or the fact that this stupid project is really eating up too much time, you pitch in. You help.

Lately, I've noticed there are 2 kinds of people you end up helping. You help a group that reaches out, asks for your help, defines the problem, appreciates your support, etc. And usually, you're equally happy to reverse the roles with them.

And then there's the person whose job you're doing because they simply passively opted out of doing it. The ol "I pinged Bob*, but he hasn't gotten back to me, and it's been 3 days, and it's due tomorrow, and well...  can you help?" You're happy to help the asker - but you're also helping Bob. Only Bob doesn't know it - he certainly never acknowledges it. And he thinks that things which are beyond his current ability to complete simply "go away." If I leave it for long enough, it disappears.

Or, more likely, lands on someone else's desk.

I've grown to really resent Bob. Bob not only absolves himself of work, but injects passive aggressiveness to the situation AND eats up the time for the poor schmo who ends up taking on his tasks. Bob is a menace.

If you can't just say "I appreciate your request and it's importance, but there's no way on God's Green Earth that it's going to happen in the time frame you need it" we can all just move along with our lives.

Don't be a Bob.

*not a reference to anyone I know named Bob. Or anyone I don't know named Bob.

1 comment:

Capt. BS said...

Ah, more inspiration to write a blog post entitled "How to Run a Company". I believe this topic will be examined under Scenario 3.2, as follows:

Scenario 3.2: In Which Bob is Assigned a Task
Monday: Bob has been assigned a task. It is due on Friday.
Tuesday: Bob has not started the task.
Wednesday: Bob has not started the task.
Thursday: Bob has not started the task.
Friday: Bob has not started the task.
Monday: Bob is fired.