Manners of Management

One of the reasons I left my prior job is that I found the degree of administrative work to which I was assigned to be much higher than I had expected. Obviously, there was a great deal I found objectionable (and I’ll admit to a certain sensitivity in this regard), but I think the most insulting aspect is when being assigned a task under the pretense of having a greater level of technical expertise.

Example:

“Hey, could you fax this please?”

“Sure, no problem.”

“Thanks! I really struggle with fax machines!”

If you are in the position to ask people to do things like this, please be sure to stop the conversation before saying you have difficulty operating basic office machinery. I know the intent is to make the request seem less demeaning, but by admitting you can’t use a fax machine, you’re either insulting your inferior’s intelligence, exposing yourself as too lazy to learn to use a fax machine (unlikely), or betraying yourself as a Luddite. Doing the work under any of these circumstances makes it worse, not better.

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