I can do that!

in life •  last year

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In life, as you get older, you will have numerous occasions where individuals will try to Muscle in. It can take many forms, from trying to do your job or taking the credit for something you've done. Not that long ago I had a situation where basically EVERYONE wanted to do someone else's job. The digital marketing girl wanted to be the receptionist, the engineer wanted to be the salesperson and the receptionist wanted to be the senior administrator. When I say wanted, I don't mean they actually wanted the job, what they wanted was, in their view, the juicy bits of the roles. The bits that had Directors etc showering praise on. Now I have had people in the past try to excuse this behaviour by saying that it's good to give people a broad experience with a wide range of skills. That sounds laudable in theory, in practice, it generally means lots of mistakes and lots of alienation. I've always held the belief, if you want to be a scaffolder you'll apply to be one not try to take someone's job off them.

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For many years I've been involved in organising apprenticeships and work experience. I particularly like the work experience opportunities offered to local schools so that pupils can get a taste of what it is actually like being in the workplace. We've had a lot of great individuals over the years, one or two I'm still friends with on Facebook or LinkedIN. Most have gone on to start really rewarding careers and seem to be making a success of things.

Recently we offered another place on our work experience scheme however for some strange reason, while I handled the paperwork, another individual was tasked with the management of the student. Now initially I was confused and I openly admit, a little put out, but at the end of the day "So be it!" This morning I took a call from the placement officer, it would seem they're not happy with the final report we've filled out regarding the placement now it has come to an end so much so that he intends to come and see us to "Discuss this matter and get to the bottom of it."

Now dear reader, I'll hold my hand up and admit that a slight 'gloat' permeated my body as I listened to the individual, who thought it would be a good idea to replace me, squirm on the phone. I particularly enjoyed it when they came in my office moaning "How was I supposed to know that's not what they meant on the report form? I didn't know what half the questions were talking about anyway!"
I'm not sure they liked my response "With great power comes great responsibility!"

If you are going to undermine someone, at least make sure you know what you're doing.

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Hell yeah.
I've always loved Billy's comeback at a heckler in the crowd on "The Pick of Billy Connely".
Something along the lines of 'hey... Do I tell you how to sweep up? Stop telling me how to do my job!'

I also see and experience this frequently. In IT I perceive this is fed by the need to be "Agile" which some take a step too far. It in some cases has led to a world without job descriptions where individuals build their own roles within the organisation. This I guess can be very successful but I have seen that it means that all grab the nice bits as you suggest above.

I'm happy to be an underling. I don't need the stress


You know, that's nothing to be ashamed of.

Interestingly, in an offshoot conversation related to the above post, I was effectively accused of being big-headed to which I responded: "Actually that's not true there are lots of things I cannot do and admit it. The thing is knowing there are things I cannot do, that's the mark of my success, by focussing on the things I can do and doing them well."


Good one, that is one of the keys to success.
Doing what you know you can do and doing it well.
'Outsource' the rest.