Kid just loves him some cows (komos) wrote,
Kid just loves him some cows

Ten Delicate Sounds

The fundamental truth that micro-managers seem to be incapable of grasping is that people will generally live up to your expectations. In other words, if you systematically deny any authority and otherwise treat him as though he is incapable of making decisions, he will stop making decisions. Similarly, if you take steps to check every aspect of his work, your lack of trust in him will begin to erode his morale and will ultimately lead to the very thing that you seek to prevent. In seeking to control every aspect of your underlings in the name of efficiency, you actually foster inefficiency and incompetence.

Such is the story of my work life.

On another tack entirely, I bought Hawaiian shirts this weekend. Garish things, really, but somehow they give me some small bit of joy when I put them on. As he was bagging my purchase, the salesperson behind the counter asked, "Are you going on a cruise soon?" When I told him no, he looked at me sort of askance and then covered by mentioning something about the material of one of the garments. It reminded me a little of an exchange I had with S sometime last year...

Last summer, a few folks in the office came up with the idea of Hawaiian Shirt Fridays (HSF). There weren’t too many of us who participated, but it was tastefully done if, again, a little on the garish side. S was one of the folks who didn’t participate, and at some point, he approached me and said, "You know, I don’t get it."

"What do you mean?"

"The Hawaiian shirt thing. Think about the people it appeals to... B, you, my 12 year old son... Gotta wonder if that says something."

Sarcasm. Perfectly in keeping with his sense of humor, but it was incredible how much it chafed my hide. Leaving aside for the moment that there were at least ten others who had at some point participated in HSF, including our division director, and he chose to focus on our resident mid-life expert and me, he knew my situation, and his statement was just incredibly insensitive. I had just been through two years of hell that were quickly ending in a radical life change and I found one thing, and a little thing to be sure, to take pleasure in. Here was one of my colleagues all but outright accusing me of immaturity. Ok, so perhaps my angry Tiki god shirt is not appropriate office wear, but this isn’t exactly an appropriate office.

uruz knows... I've often bemoaned the fact that I don't work in an office where I feel like I have to "dress." He thinks I'm crazy, but it would go a long way to know that I was surrounded by people who cared about the work and cared about themselves.

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