Suffering fools

Since I was out most of last week, I met with my team this morning to get back up to speed.  The minute I closed the door, the bitching began.  That’s not meant to disparage them.  This is a great team, so their complaints were valid.

Last Friday afternoon, one of the officers (we’ll call her Jane) went into panic mode.  Her boss (we’ll call him Tom) asked for some information by 3:30, so  she proceeded to get the team spun up.  The  team already had the information (since it’s part of what they regularly do), but apparently it wasn’t what Jane wanted, or it wasn’t enough.

As more and more idiotss people got involved, the tasking just escalated.  When the team missed the 3:30 deadline, Jane  yelled at these people, telling them their work was unacceptable.

When the data was finally given to Tom, turns out, all he’d wanted was one slide from a brief we’d already done.  It would have taken 2 seconds.  The 3:30 deadline would have been met, people wouldn’t have had stay until 7:00 pm (on a Friday), and panicky phone calls to people at home wouldn’t have been necessary.  All because Jane didn’t understand what Tom was asking for.

I wonder if Jane realizes the whole incident is her fault and she made an ass of herself.  Honestly, I don’t think she’s smart enough to recognize it.

I’m not sure how I’ll be able to help.  I can give Jane recommendations and feedback, but even though we’re equal rank, I doubt she’ll listen to me.   I don’t think she understands I have a strong background, more years experience, and am a better leader than she.  If nothing else, I can hopefully be a shit filter.

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4 thoughts on “Suffering fools

  1. I read about a study once that showed that incompetent people don’t know they’re incompetent. They know too little about their jobs to understand how much they don’t know. I found it to be a fascinatingly accurate portrait of my boss at the time.

  2. I think that if incompetent people realized they’re incompetent, they would do something to make up for what they don’t know… well, at least if they’re humble (self-assured?) enough to admit they’re incompetent and do some research to learn what they don’t know.

    In the case of “Jane”, I wonder whether she is incompetent or just too scared of her boss to admit that she didn’t understand instructions she was given or to ask for clarifications that would have helped her come up with what he needed more efficiently.

    • I don’t think she’s so much scared of her boss (he’s not that frightening) as she wants everything perfect. I think she thought she knew what he wanted.

      As for her horrible behavior, turns out she was out almost all of this past week because she was sick. She probably didn’t feel well.

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