Busy work or Productive work?

Busy work or Productive work?
Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi / Unsplash

Whenever I used to get stuck in some situation then I used to ask my mentor on what needs to be done. To make it very easy, I used to ask things like

  • Should we add this feature?
  • Should we ask for more time?
  • Should I tell client that we made some mistake here?

If you look at the common theme here, I am passing on the burden to the other person. It's not my problem anymore, I have handed it over in a gift wrap to my mentor. This was a perfect solution, because now if something goes wrong, I will broadcast that my mentor made the call. All looks good, zero accountability in case of mess up, and full appreciation in case things went well.

As per this scenario, I am an execution bot, I am getting instructions and I am processing them one by one. Anyone can do it, there's nothing unique about me here. This is a very uncomfortable thought to realize, I am an insect doing routine stuff. After a while, I concluded that I should be paid minimum wage because I am not a knowledge worker. But I am getting good money and this makes the whole situation disgusting.

So now when I consult my mentor, I go with opinions, thoughts, and mental models, now the questions are

  • Should we add this feature -> I know this is not as per our product vision, this is not impactful and only one person would be happy after this, instead, we can put this temporary work here and observe how it goes.
  • Should we ask for more time? -> This is going to take some time to develop and the client will be anxious if we give this much time, we are breaking it into 3 phases, and in phase 1 we will execute the core, so it will also give us more data even if this feature is required
  • Should I tell the client that we made some mistake here? -> We made a mistake here, and I want to be clear with the Client here because we have to build trust over time and I don't want to break it if I am hiding things now, however, these are the processes that I have placed in the workflow to capture this in the future, now I can say for sure this type of thing will not happen but unfortunately this time it did

This now spawns the discussion over the mental models or the variable that I may not have considered while taking calls and the next time a similar situation occurs I have more data points to make decisions.

Don't be insects.