Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Two Acceptable Approaches

At work, I have noticed two approaches that people use when being shown how to do something new:
  1. They write it down, sometimes in great detail, so that they can refer to their notes in the future, or
  2. They do not write it down, and later they use a combination of memory, trying things, struggling, etc., to perform the action.
Now, either of these approaches is just fine. I tend to use Method 2 unless I'm doing something so complicated that I know I won't remember it, but I know people who almost always use Method 1, and it's a good plan.

What is not acceptable is doing neither. Specifically, it is not OK to ask me to show you how to do the same things over and over again, ten or more times each over a period of several months, while you
  • don't take notes
  • don't remember anything
  • are unwilling to struggle to figure something out on your own
  • refuse to consult outside reference materials, and
  • act helpless
That will really just piss me off, which I will then struggle (and probably fail) to hide in my tone of voice when you call me for the umpteenth time. And if you make more money and have a fancier title than I do while doing (or failing to do, as the case may be) the same kind of work, that goes double.

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