RE: managing interns

Subject: RE: managing interns
From: mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com
To: techwr -at- genek -dot- com, jcemer -at- wavelink -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2006 16:27:10 -0500

Gene Kim-Eng wisely suggested:
> In this situation, I would plan on being available for regular
> conferences with the poor souls who are minding the store
> in your absence to provide guidance, having them send you
> their work to review at home and being on call for them in
> critical decision situations. It isn't just that the inexperienced
> interns won't be as capable as you technically, they will also
> be relatively defenseless against anyone who wants to turn
> your entire process on its ear in your absence (just think
> about all the things you fend off on a regular basis and
> imagine what things would be like if you had no authority
> to do the fending off and you'll have an idea where the interns
> will be). If you want to avoid having to come back and
> rebuild everything from the ground up, plan on being part-time
> rather than on leave.

Print out Gene's observation and bring it to your boss(es)
when you negotiate PAYMENT for these activities while
supposedly "on leave".

If they value what you do for them, then they value the way
that you get it done, which means the process that you've set
up and your ability to discern and to resist non-essential
work for poachers. That took time, effort and expertise to
establish. It's worth money to preserve.

If you are generally self-supervising, then you've established
routines and boundaries that let you get the real work done
without drowning in "just a quick..." (which are somehow never
as quick as the poacher thinks... or wants you to think).

There's nothing wrong with being responsive and helpful, but
interns are simply not going to know where the line should
go, nor how vigorously they can/should defend that line.

Your boss(es) need to understand that they undermine that
routine and those boundaries at their peril.

Or maybe they _want_ to watch you go frantic for several weeks
on your return, trying to recover. :-)


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