Sudden Directives

sudden directives 500

Question: What do I do when people come to me out of the blue with ad-hoc demands? Do I drop everything and do it? Who are these people and how can I tell what’s really important?

Answer:
There’s nothing worse than someone who drops out of the sky, insists that some huge task be completed RIGHT NOW or the world will stop turning, and then the person disappears before you can even ask them what’s going on. They act like they’re the only people in the room that matter and they don’t consider the needs or perspectives of other stakeholders. If you obey their commands, you’ll end up with a very short-lived document or a bunch of un-manageable branches. This way lies perdition.

Keep a few things in mind:

  • First, to remember that you are not their b**** even if they act like you are.
  • Second, even small innocent-sounding requests can mushroom into huge operations overnight.
  • Third, they don’t always know what they’re talking about, in terms of which docs are really impacted.
  • Fourth, not all departments are created equal. Try to check in with your real boss if you can, and if you can’t get a hold of this person, re-paginate your document and say it’s all fixed now.
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