June 13, 2006

Why I have High Blood Pressure

When people around me start freaking out, my response is generally one of outward calm and even disinterest. My first thought is usually that whoever is freaking out needs to be left alone to handle their business. My second thought is that their freaking out is, by definition, counter-productive and does not serve to resolve the situation at all and I want nothing to do with that.

In stressful situations, I think it is important for people to learn to find some calm and address the facts dispassionately. If someone freaks out over "small" issues like a lost credit card, a late project, or their car being towed, what hope do they have in more serious situations like a criminal trial, being lost in the wilderness, or when there are emergency medical personnel involved?

Unfortunately, even though my outward response to people who are freaking out is one of calm, they do cause me a certain amount of stress anyway.

Here's a prime example:

Account Manager: did you check out the SuperImportantProject1 web pages
Flibby: I haven't looked at them yet
Flibby: but DevGuy said they're on staging.
Flibby: I sent an email to the team alerting them to this.
Account Manager: i know
Account Manager: i see them
Account Manager: one of the links is broken
Flibby: K
Flibby: Please review for other issues
Flibby: Send me a list of all the edits in one email.
Account Manager: HelperGuy is sending me the path for the correct rules page and i will send it off
Flibby: I am working with ContactIveBeenTryingToReachForTwoWeeks on SuperImportantProject2 right now.
Account Manager: i don't see any other issues but CrazyClientLady is freaking out
Account Manager: so i need to get this to her asap
Account Manager: i can't show it to CrazyClientLady like this
Account Manager: she's a ticking time bomb
Account Manager: and DevTeam is soooo slow
Flibby: Which is more important to you right now:
Flibby: SuperImportantProject1
Flibby: or SuperImportantProject2?
Flibby: I can only work on one at a time.
Account Manager: SuperImportantProject1
Flibby: Are you absolutely sure that you want me to tell ContactIveBeenTryingToReachForTwoWeeks that I will talk to him later about SuperImportantProject2?
Flibby: Because if I drop this to do something else, I don't know when he and I will be able to work together on this again.
Account Manager: talk to ContactIveBeenTryingToReachForTwoWeeks about SuperImportantProject2- you'll get my email about SuperImportantProject1 in a few minutes
Flibby: K
Flibby: Please review the rest of it, too, though
Flibby: If there are other problems, I want to send a list.
Flibby: I don't want to send a bunch of emails each with one edit.

[Five minute pause]

Flibby: I'm done with SuperImportantProject2! I'm going to review SuperImportantProject1 now.
Account Manager: there may be a text change on the bottom of the SuperImportantProject1 pages but I don't know that now and will not know that until later - in the meantime, CrazyClientLady needs to see these pages and she's not happy that we haven't been able to get it to her sooner
Account Manager: so that's why i ask to make the link change and then we will worry about the date change
Account Manager: CrazyClientLady is aware of the date change but will think we are careless if we show her the rules are linking tothe wrong page

[Two second pause]

Account Manager: ok - we got clarification on the date change
Account Manager: i will send it to you
Flibby: Let's make a note for future updates:
Flibby: When the URL to pages change, we need to include that in our edits.
Flibby: Because I sent the URL to dev.
Flibby: They followed the instructions given.
Account Manager: i know that
Account Manager: OtherAccountManager is new to this
Account Manager: that's why it was overlooked
Account Manager: she didn't realize
Flibby: Ah.

Also, as a note to all y'all working in technology: do not piss off the developers. Do not say they have made an error unless you have evidence supporting your claim.

Developers are moody and sensitive. If you constantly show them you have no confidence in their performance, you can be guaranteed that they will spare you the concern by withholding their services where possible.

And also, don't piss off your project managers by freaking out and not following their directions. It gives them high blood pressure.

Posted by Flibbertigibbet at June 13, 2006 02:01 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?