Re: Responsibility

Subject: Re: Responsibility
From: "Paul Strasser" <paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 09:04:57 -0600

> > What you're talking about here is butt coverage. And I ain't talking
> > about capri pants.
> CYA is without a doubt the most detrimental and least productive thing any
> human can do at their job. If you work in a place that is all CYA, then I
> deeply pity you. I personally refuse to play the CYA game. Its lame.

Although CYA is commonly a useless activity because you're essentially
concerned solely with avoiding blame (rather than concerned with doing good
work), there are times when CYA is essential.

I used to work as a real estate agent. The company I worked for had very
strict requirements on paper-handling and form-filling. Each listing and
sale had involved checklists for every form that was necessary - and as anal
as the CA real estate requirements were, our company also had its own forms
in addition to the state/county forms. If you didn't have all the paperwork
in (and checked off by a bigwig) you didn't get a commission check.

And the whole point of this was CYA. It was to establish a paper trail in
the event of troubles down the road. "I didn't know about the wiring
problem, so I'm suing the real estate agent" was easily refuted in front of
the judge by producing the Wiring Problem Recognition Form AFWR-001, duly
signed by the buyer. And this happened all the time - we sold a lot of
older homes, built from 1915-1940. And these homes are evidence of entropy
in action, so problems abound.

I hated the form-filling and checklist-checking. But I knew this CYA was
necessary. I used to tell clients that every form, every paragraph and
sentence, or every comma or numbered list is there because somebody once
was sued because that particular form, paragraph, etc. wasn't there.

BTW, I stopped by my old office to say Howdy a few months ago, and the
amount of paperwork on a single sale is now probably double what I had to
endure. And it's all CYA.

Paul Strasser
Windsor Technologies, Inc.
2569 Park Lane, Suite 200
Lafayette, Colorado 80026
Phone: 303-926-1982
FAX: 303-926-1510
E-mail: paul -dot- strasser -at- windsor-tech -dot- com


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