“Yes, you are absolutely right,” Maulik says.
“Will you correct it immediately, as soon as possible?” I ask hopefully.
“Well, Madam, why don’t you write me a mail with cc to Mr. G?” Maulik adds in the same breath.
I am confused.
I ask little bluntly without noticing that it is rather rude, “Do you understand what I am saying?”
“Certainly Madam, that is a gross mistake and it needs to be corrected immediately,” Maulik is a good guy. He is soft-speaking person.
“Then just do it man. Why do you need email when I am discussing with you and you are convinced that this job needs to be done? And it is part of your broad job profile – I am not asking anything extra or out of the way.” I am irked at this email business. The correction I want does not involve financial approval from anyone. Why this formality of sending an email?
I am not a software person – in the sense I do not create it. However I use it. For one of our programs Maulik and his team are hired for designing/producing software for us. I know the logic but not the application. We have explained what we want as the ‘end product’ but at every step we find few missing links. Especially when I come back from field areas, I have many suggestions because the software is not working properly. Field testing is a must – I keep on telling myself and others if they chose to listen.
But Maulik insists that I send an email to his boss; then his boss will ‘order’ Maulik and Maulik would ‘’immediately’’ complete the job. I wouldn’t mind doing this if it helps. But Mr. G (Maulik’s boss) is known for not answering emails – I even have doubt whether he reads those! Sending an email to Mr. G and waiting for his response would take at least another week. I know it is of no use.
I call Mr. G. I explain. I say, I will write formally to keep things on record, but it would be good if he tells Maulik to make the correction immediately.
Mr. G is a seasoned manager. He says, “Don’t worry. You just send me an email and I will write to Maulik. It will not take more than 10 minutes.”
I know it will definitely not be done in next two weeks!!
If we are informal, we are more efficient and effective.
If we are formal, we tend to be inefficient and ineffective. Everybody knows this and has experienced this. We complain about this system, when we want to get something done - when we are at the receiving end.
But when the baton comes to us, when we have to deliver, we play the same old game. People for generations continue to play the same game – only the players change, the game continues.
You might like to read Systemaniac.