Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Warning Signals

Every industry and work environment has them. You know, those little phrases, statements or questions that, when asked, let you know exactly how little someone knows about what you do.

In my line of work - system development - you hear these doozies:

  • "But it's just a one line coding change, isn't it?"
  • "Can't you just change a couple lines in a table?"
  • "Can't twice as many of you do it in half the time?"
  • "We can just do the same thing we did ...."
On one hand, you want to whack the people upside the head with a 2"x4". On the other hand, you want to pat them on the head and say, "Don't worry, one day you, too, will become smart."

What statements do you hear, in your profession or place of employment, that let you know someone knows not what you really do?


Scott said...

Upon delivering letter of resignation: "Ok, well...we all pretty much know what you do."

followed on Monday of my last week there with: 8 hours of meetings where I explain what everyone supposedly knew.

At the new job I think its this:
"Where_Package_Needs_Deployed: Globally" when only a handfull of our 15000 users will actually use the package they want us to push...

Des_Moines_Girl said...

When I've asked the "Communication Assistant" (I outrank him) for assistance, he regularly responds with the following...

"Can't you do it. It will only take you a minute."

"Is this even our department's job?"


Of course just typing it you don't hear the whiney, nerve grating voice he uses...

Rick said...

Scott: I've heard the "we know what you do" spiel, too.

DMG: sounds like the, um, communication assistant needs some assistance improving his communication. And his attitude, too. He must be from Michigan, probably a Wolverine fan. :-)

Jungebez said...

While testing software (one of my favorites):

"We need you to find all the defects as soon as possible..."

Rick, you will appreciate this one - While developing a new Point-of-Sale system:

"Well, why does it take so long to rate a policy when excel can do it in milli-seconds?"

Rick said...

Jungebez: while you're at it, can you identify all the unknown errors, too?

I like the policy rating question. Nothing like comparing a spreadsheet model against a system that has to traipse through thousands of records on some remote server. Hah!