Re: Estimating Projects (Dealing with Support Staff)

Subject: Re: Estimating Projects (Dealing with Support Staff)
From: Chantel Brathwaite <cnbrath -at- cbel -dot- cit -dot- nih -dot- gov>
To: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2000 14:04:08 -0400

Bruce said:

That's not to say that truly generous gestures aren't
appreciated. But it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that
swing. You can't just talk the talk; you've got to walk the walk.
It's got to come from the heart if you want it to work. In other
words, all paraphrases aside, it's got to be sincere.

Chantel says:

I agree 100%. I'll add my perspective because I used to work in administrative
support. It is nice to bring in donuts or chocolate sometimes; I don't think
there is anything wrong with making nice gestures if someone has gone the extra
mile -- or just to be friendly. People do appreciate those things. But I've
found that the key to getting along with support staff is to simply treat them
as you would anyone else. In fact, if you treat everyone that you come in
contact with during your work day with respect (including the cleaning staff and
the UPS guy) -- whether they can do something for you or not -- I find that
people generally respect you and will help you out if you are in a jam.

I was a secretary for a few years. Although at the time it was hard on my ego,
I am eternally grateful because it helped me to not place too much stock in
"position" or to be puffed up about my job or my accomplishments. Being a tech
writer has helped with that too :). One of the greatest lessons I learned is
that many people are caught up in position -- who is the boss, who has the most
education, who is the most technical, who has the best job title, who works for
the largest company, who is the smartest (whatever that means). When I was a
secretary -- I was at the bottom of the corporate ladder. Some people treated
me as if I didn't exist, some were only nice to me when they wanted something,
some were nice consistently (but would pretend that they didn't know me when
they were with their peers), and some were downright mean. But sometimes,
someone would come along who was genuine. After a while, I was able to the spot
them; and I always went that extra mile for them. Never forget that most people
that work in support eventually develop discernment and are able to "read"
people pretty well -- they won't be fooled by a box of donuts if you aren't
sincere (even though they may eat them)! People in support are not stupid;
they just work in a different position, that's all.

Well, that's my $ .02 -- now back to work!



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