You know, I’ve heard that a lot lately and frankly I fail to comprehend how being MORE verbose, explaining things fully, and making similes so people who don’t know the subject have something to relate to qualifies as a bad thing. Concise - lacking elaboration and detail; I was taught that’s a BAD thing. Not only should one list the choice, decision or proper practice, but explain why, give examples, make comparisons to things they might understand.
But as I recently told another poster here, I think I missed his post completely because it was so concise, I thought it was a ‘me too’ instead of saying what I ended up posting - since it didn’t say WHY.
But I often think communication issues often stem from regional differences. As George Bernard Shaw said, “America and England are two nations divided by a common language”. I’m an old school New England Yankee - we are NOT a polite people. “Ya cahnt geht theyah frum heeeyah” isn’t just a catch phrase, it’s a way of life. Just as Patton said an army cannot run without profanity, I believe the same about any workplace where you actually expect things to be done PROPERLY. “But it has to be eloquent profanity… and as to the types of comments I make, well, by God, sometimes I just get caught up in my own eloquence.”
Candy-coating everything is no way to have anything resembling progress, or to get a job done properly. This namby pamby limp-wristed “if you can’t say anything nice” bull is perhaps the most insulting thing I’ve ever dealt with and I have zero tolerance for it. Something sucks, say it sucks. Somethings wrong, SAY it’s wrong. “you can’t say anything nice” is a cop-out used by people with their heads in the sand in regards to every problem.
<simile>Much like the sheep, people would prefer if the sheepdog was somewhere else, because it is too hard for them to accept that there are actually wolves out there. If the fire extinguishers at a school were faulty, “Heads would roll” - yet kids are a dozen times less likely to encounter a fire in their school than violence - but the mere notion of such violence is so terrifying that people shudder at the thought of NEEDING an armed guard or arming the teachers.</simile>
In that way, the reality of things being wrong/nonsensical/incorrect is too ‘tough’ for most people to accept, so when someone goes and puts out a laundry list of what’s wrong, they’re automatically being “unnecessarily harsh” - bull. Harsh is probably the surest indicator of someone trying to help you. Slapping the rose coloured glasses on your head and leading you down the garden path is NOT helpful in the least, no matter how good it feels. Kinda like pissing yourself in dark pants, a warm feeling but nobody notices until the stink hits the air.
But having traveled I found the regional differences are a healthy part of it - for example I can’t spend more than five minutes in a room with your typical twenty-something from the west coast without feeling the overwhelming urge to punch their face in… They’re sunshiny cheer combined with a complete lack of anything resembling testicular fortitude not only being annoying, it’s almost as outright insulting as when adults talk down to children in that idiot voice that 99% of people seem to automatically shift into when the kid is under the age of 12.
I remember my first trip to Georgia I stopped to gas up and after waiting five minutes in line to pay the bimbo at the register starts chewing my ear off. I finally said “Hey, why are you even talking to me? What do you want out of me?” – honest to god someone up here pulls that they are probably trying to hit you up for a loan or a really nasty favor. Naturally I kneejerked into “Shut the *** up, gimme my damned change so I can get the hell out of here and you can wait on the fifteen people in line behind me.” - naturally she responded with “Well I never!”, leading me into the classic “there’s half your problem lady”
Turned out to not be a pleasant trip when I discovered that is apparently the norm down there. Regional differences about how workplace behaviors are handled are quite surprising; and with the Internet letting disparate regions attempt to work together, conflicts abound. What I grew up understanding to be workplace behavioral norms do not mesh well with the era of political correctness and don’t you DARE say anything negative about ANYTHING.
Of course with schools practicing asshattery like “social promotion” and going “you can’t do anything to upset the children” it’s no wonder we’ve bred out two generations of thin skinned morons. Maybe if we took some time to upset them a little we’d be pumping out better results on standardized tests, not having half the public having this ‘sense of entitlement’ where they expect something for nothing, a proper work ethic, and fiscal responsibility at every level slightly more mature than Wimpy’s “I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” – and we wonder why jobs are going overseas.
Oddly enough, I’ve always been a really BAD employee and much better at running my own business - though that’s usually because of my zero tolerance for micromanagement. Whenever you get the guy who hired you because they don’t know how to do something or what are proper practices suddenly acting like they know more about it than you, I tend to kneejerk into “Think you can do better, then do it - what the **** did you even hire me for?”. When I had my own do-it-all mom & pop computer store (that I liquidated to pay a friends medical bills so they could walk again) I would hire someone expecting they would actually know how to do the tasks I gave them, told them go do it, and left them to it only really double-checking after them the first week or so. Nowadays the mere notion of letting an employee actually do their job appears to border on blasphemy.
I think a lot of my distaste stems from my period of military service and having done this stuff for thirty years. Back 20 years ago, you were hired to do a job by people who didn’t know how to do it, you did it, they were happy… In the service you were trained to do a job, you went and did the job, you reviewed the work after and everybody was happy…
The past decade or so though, everyone and their **** brother thinks their some sort of ‘expert’ on things they know nothing about sleazing out work any old way. Round-table discussions and design by committee destroying any chance of a practical working environment – and then we wonder why the economy is tanking.
That’s a healthy part of why I retired is I got sick of dealing with the complete idiocy that businesses have turned into. It doesn’t help that it honest to God seems like IQ’s dropped 50 points across the board since the mid 90’s.
I agree, but it has to be a two way street, you hire someone to do something, they tell you one of the things you want is a really bad idea, LISTEN. When you hire someone to do something you don’t know how to do, don’t ever tell them “You don’t know what you’re talking about” because your snot nosed fifteen year old nephew told you otherwise.
… and people wonder why I hit burnout.
To people looking for freelancers, my advice is anyone who’s too polite, too shiny-happy, steer clear, they’re probably going to take you for a ride.