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That Guy’s Tips for Corporate Success, #3 August 25, 2008

Posted by That Guy in Tips for Corporate Success.
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Bosses have forgotten how to critique tactfully… or even constructively.

This morning, That Guy said he was working on a fairly-large project that of course couldn’t be started until today. He mentioned off-hand to his boss that he was working on it. Apparently he misunderstood the project, which is understandable in and of itself.

But instead of saying “oh. We were actually going to do it this way, so if you could change it to that…” he got “Why are you doing that? Don’t do that without being sure of what we’re doing so you don’t waste your time.”

And then the boss just walked away to do whatever it is bosses do in their offices. Probably bide time between meetings.

With the amount of projects That Guy has on his plate, all of which are TEH MOST IMPORTANT THING EVAR!!!!111ONE, one would think That Guy’s boss would perhaps volunteer to do a little coding of his own.

One would think.

That Guy at least expected an “oh. Oh, well, that’s not right, but can you reuse your code to make the project the other way instead?” It’s like the boss assumes that code isn’t modifiable or reuseable. That Guy supposes it’s only to be expected by a boss who does more in Design View than Code View.

This quote came to mind while writing this tip:

How can we hope to remain economically competitive in a world in which…90% of Dutch high-school students take advanced math courses and 100% of teachers in Germany have double majors, while the best we can say about our “pocket of excellence” is that 75% of [American] students have learned to “critique tactfully?” (Barbara J. Alexander)

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