The point of this short post, is to remind us about how we need one another to survive at work – never mind the esoteric header. Another point, is to remind us not to be smarter than ourselves or think that we’ve scored a point when we give a quick comeback. How do I mean?
I was providing absence cover for a dear colleague one short period. This means that I had to do both her work and mine during this period. Because it was only a short cover, it meant, that I could afford to give some slack on work that came in for her except where urgent.
Well, a client of hers sent in some work at midnight without a background to guide review. The note was something along the lines of ‘please find attached for your comments.’ Because this wasn’t my client, I had no feel of the facts or what our aim was in responding. Anyway, I was still up when the mail came in and because I like to press phone, I saw the mail and noting the gap in context, responded that this client should let me know what the context was and what we aimed to achieve to guide review. Client in this context, means in-house client i.e. we all work for the same organisation but in different departments. This is not the external client situation where the ‘customer is king regardless of bullshit‘ slogan reigns supreme.
You know what this client did? They responded in the morning that I should read the documents and I would find the answers there.
I was already too busy with my own work. So I took the view that this document was obviously not important to this client and could wait till their primary business lawyer who had the background, returned to work to review for them. After all, there was just one business day separating the return and the heavens would not fall within that time. I didn’t bother pointing out the obvious – that if I had the facts, I won’t have asked for them. I carried on with other tasks.
Which brings me to the point – that in the work environment, no one is an island. Basic courtesy is required to thrive. In fact, there are some who are of the school of thought that a nice person at work is likely to be promoted ahead of a more competent but not nice person.
Sometimes, the difference between getting a positive response or silence to your request, is your attitude.
*image credit: http://www.google.com