This is really important, that’s why I left it on your chair!

This actually happened to me not too long ago – I came back to my office after having been at another location the previous afternoon, to find a critical document placed on my office chair. The sticky note (it wouldn’t really be considered critical without a sticky note) boldly declared “please follow-up ASAP, thanks”. I guess in one sense, ASAP was in fact when I eventually saw the document, because that would have been the “as soon as possible” part. The intent, though, was clearly to take action immediately, not as soon as possible. What fascinated me, was that with all my clear signals to everyone I work with that I am always electronically available, when someone was confronted with a piece of paper, the connection was made with my chair, not with me. Now, of course, this could have been followed up with an email, an instant message, a voicemail, or even (wait for it) an actual phone call. So apparently, the individual’s responsibility ended with the placement of the document, and the wait time and delay from that point forward was owned by me. A very interesting delegation process whiched missed the point of urgency; how is that possible?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *