Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You Rang?

I'm in a funny position in my company. As the product marketer of the cheese, I actually tend to know a lot about the entire cheese process.

To many people, I'm the only person marketing cheese - they don't know that there's a cheese advertising division placing "MooNow!" ads on Facebook and a cheese analyst interface decision, trying to woo the good people of Food & Wine and Gourmet magazine. I am all these things - all cheese marketing.

To others, I am the primary conduit of product information, since no one has met the guy who orchestrates the hole-cheese ratio in the swiss or the guy with the barrel of culture in the back room. I am the one who knows our slicability quotients and spreadability factors.

But, in this position - I get a LOT of questions from a LOT of people. And, it's my job to generally be helpful. But - sometimes I don't want to be helpful. So, I made a short list of ways to get me NOT to go above and beyond my stated job:

a) Treat everything like an urgent fire drill - always. If you can't identify your need for a speaker on cheese recipes for your Dairy Users Group more than 14 days in advance, your emergency is not my problem

b) Make requests that are outside my scope of responsibility - and fail to acknowledge that you're asking for more than you should. Yes, I can see how "largest swiss cheese hole" might win us the Guinness Book of World Records prize, but it is not my job to grab my ruler and head to the factory. So, if you're asking me to do it, at least acknowledge that it's a favor.

c) Escalate things to my management that are outside my scope of work. Failure to go to the factory with a ruler on short notice is not a reason to call me out. Making me look bad for not doing it will earn you many a demerit.

d) Make requests that are technically part of your job. You run the Dairy Users Group. You recruit the speaker. I can be your speaker - and I can suggest speakers knowledgeable in the cheesy arts - but recruiting them is your job. Don't pretend it isn't.

There's more, I'm sure of it. But, these are the burning issues. So, what are the ramifications of pissing me off?

1) Email response degradation. You might find your email sits in my inbox for far longer than anyone else' - even when you mark it double urgent with a side of jalapenos

2) Going the extra millimeter. Sure, I can send you the document you're looking for. Or, I can send you a link t the web site behind the VPN from which you can get the document. Or I can tell you to go find that website, which I've given to you before, because "I'm not on the network now" or "I'm responding from my phone." 

3) Being SUPER kind to  your peers. Nothing is more disconcerting than finding out that someone is a doll to your peer, and an asshole to you. Your stories of difficulty working with me wont hold water, since everyone else in your group gets the white glove treatment. They can write you a thank you note for your jerkiness later. And you can wonder... is it you?

I have a lot of priorities in my day. I have a deep desire to turn off my work on occasion at night. I hate working weekends. You're overflow - and no one cares whether you're happy or not. So you better be respectful, grateful and pleasant - or you might find you get nothing at all.


Shannon said...

Snap. Snap. Finger wave. Twist. Then exclaim, " oh no she didn't". (assuming the offender was a she, but I gots no idea).

Your response is perfect, too!

PD said...