Trouble working with a SME

Subject: Trouble working with a SME
From: John Bell <johnb -at- C-STONE -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 1996 09:48:15 -0500

I already sent a reply to Melinda directly, but after reading the entire morning's digest
I had a new idea and I wanted to share this one with the list.

Time to try........Reverse Psychology!

Schedule a meeting with the SME's boss and the SME. Tell them you've thought it
over and you now see how wonderfully helpful he's been. So wonderful that you want
him transferred to your department IMMEDIATELY to serve as your in-house reviewer,
sanity-checker, etc. Stress that you will not take "NO" for an answer.

Not only will they both immediately say "NO", but I'll bet the SME will backpedal and
say that he is more valuable as a programmer. He might also chime in that he doesn't
really have the time to devote to providing reviews. His boss is likely to start seconding
that motion. (While watching this scene, you may feel the need to burst out laughing.
Resist it. If they even guess that they're being had you'll undermine your case. Stick
some tacks in one shoe to keep yourself from laughing.)

When the meeting ends, indicate how sorry you are that you didn't get your way. Tell
them you'll keep trying for any opening that allows you to get him added to your team.

Of course, should this situation actually be bizarre enough that his boss OKs the transfer
or says that he can work for you 10 hours a week or something like that, you still haven't
lost. Remember if he works for you, that makes *you* his boss. So, boss him around.
Tell him he can't go effective reviews without a style guide, then tell him to write one. That
alone will keep him occupied for months!

I'm feeling gleefully evil right now. Just had to share that with you!
--- John Bell
johnb -at- c-stone -dot- com

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