Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lesson learned

Only recently have I realized the power of communication (or lack thereof) in the working world. I have working as a freelancer for years. I have worked for all sorts of clients, from the very nice and realistic to the very harsh my-work-should-be-your-priority-because-I-am-paying kind of clients. In all fairness, I can say that I have never had a really bad experience with clients. A little frustration on my part, yes, a lack of understanding from their part, certainly, but never have I experienced the level of autism I am currently experiencing at work. Funny that I say "at work" as I am a freelancer, I know, but the guy has been trying to get me to his office as often as possible to get some work done. This does not mean that work does not get done. It means that this guy thinks working in front of him will mean I am more productive. Worse of all, he is the master of ASAP.

ASAP is a fake concept. As soon as possible makes you think that it is up to you to determine when this is possible. It sounds like the person in front of you is fine with whenever you have a slot for the requested task. What matters in ASAP is not the possible (they assume you can or will be able) but the "as soon as". It is a now clad in non-pressure. A by-product of the passive aggressive culture we live in? I understand that the world does not revolve around me so I cannot say now, but how about now? It brings emergency expectations without the mean pressure. It takes the bad feeling out of the requester: he's not asking for the impossible, since it is whenever it is possible! I have failed because of that. I have seen projects designed as ASAP and I have treated them quickly but not as priorities, at my own pace, but oh Loood, what was I thinking? Accepting ASAP as a deadline is like signing up for a class right before registration is over... You know you are heading for a disaster, yet you don't want to risk to feel bad because you have completely missed the class.

So tonight, I will pledge in front of the one of you all (hi Mom!): I will never accept ASAP as an answer ever again.

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