Note Taking, That's not my job, whatever.

Subject: Note Taking, That's not my job, whatever.
From: Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 1996 08:46:00 -0600

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Subject: Note Taking, That's not my job, whatever.
From: "eilrh -at- EXCHANGE -dot- WCC -dot- LUCENT -dot- COM%Mailhub"@ccMail.JCI.Com
To: Arlen_P_Walker%BG-HDQTRS -at- ccMail -dot- JCI -dot- Com, "TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU%Mailhub"@ccMail.JCI.Com
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 1996 17:08 -0600 (CST)

Let me just suggest that, before you go calling people prima donnas,
ask yourself what your motivation is. I'm guessing your answer will
fall somewhere under either "ignorance" or "envy."

Since I was the one that first used the phrase (and I didn't aim it at
anyone in particular; I displayed a garment of a general size, if you care
to claim it was cut-to-fit, that's your problem) I take it you're addressing
me. My motivation was that I am sick unto death of working on "teams" (and I
use the term loosely) where people are more worried that they're actually
going to end up doing more grunt work than someone else on the team than
worrying about the job at hand. I have even worked with people who feel they
have to find out whose fault the problem is before they will begin working
on a fix. (My reponse to them is generally, "OK, it's my fault; I broke it.
*Now* will you fix it?" Whether it happens to be my fault or not doesn't
matter to me, as long as it gets fixed.)

Yes, some people get dumped on. I've seen an engineering manager walk all
the way from his desk to a female lab technician's desk, to ask her to go
get his printout off the printer. (The distance he walked to her desk was at
least 2/3 the distance from his desk to the printer.) Sometimes it's me
getting dumped on. But even when it's not, I'm sure I find witnessing that
dumping only slightly less irritating than the dumpee.

But that's not the point. The point is getting the job done. So I did scut
work. So what? The team produced results. And they wouldn't have without
someone doing the scut work. (And, BTW, if there's anyone on the team doing
scut work that *doesn't* help the team succeed, the proper question isn't
"Why should *I* do it?" but "Why should *we* -- or *anyone* -- do it?") Did
it tax my talents heavily? No. Does it matter? No. The *team* produced
results, and any personal glory in it comes only as a reflection of the
team's success.

I've seen a lot of advice floating out on this question, including a piece
(given, I would hope, with a large amount of tongue in cheek) recommending
intentionally doing it badly. If the goal, what you're aiming at, matters,
then you swallow your ego and do what it takes. If it doesn't, then maybe
you need to ask yourself why you're doing it in the first place? To engage
in a bit of hyperbole and quote one of the folks around here, "If you're not
out to change the world, then what are you doing wasting my time?"

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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