Do It Right, Do It Over
In they army they have a saying, â€œHurry up, and wait.â€ In business that same saying can be, â€œHurry up and do it again.â€ In textbook publishing, we had our own version, â€œThe project is over, time for the prototype to begin.â€
Meet Hurry Up Harriet.
Harriet is the boss or the client who calls at the last minute to announce that she needs something done right away. Sheâ€™s clear and concise on what it is, . . . if youâ€™re lucky. Sheâ€™s sketchy and rushes through the details, if youâ€™re not.
Either way, Harriet is precise about one thing the exact time and date that she needs the work complete — 48 hours sooner than any human has performed such a task.
Because itâ€™s your job — and youâ€™d like to keep it — you set forth on the quest of making Harrietâ€™s impossible happen. This requires a significant investment of overtime and work at home, but you do it. Through some miracle and no life, you come through with 7 seconds to spare. You feel like a wrangler at a rodeo. You throw your hands up to check the clock. Youâ€™re about to give your perfect, checked-over-three-times document to Harriet, when you get another call.
It’s Harriet on the line.
She says, â€œOn that document I asked for, Iâ€™ve been thinking, could you also include . . . ?â€ She adds three or four things.
â€œI can wait for the new version until Friday,â€ she sings.
How would you feel about that?
Based on the three previous projects that went the same way, you realize that Harriet will repeat this behavior at least twice more before the current project is over.
On some projects, we never have time to do things right,
but we always time to do things over.
It’s hard enough having to do work for a Harriet.
What’s worse is the days when I act like one.
Do you have Harriet days too?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Check out the Work with Liz!! page in the sidebar.