Trivial task experts are annoying

| Monday, December 5, 2011
"So that's what I sounded like..."

Between classes I work at a grill on campus, making burgers and fries. Note that these are much better than McDonald's burgers and fries. But that's beside the point. Recently, a more senior employee returned, someone who has worked there longer than I have and may have worked in food service before. In other words, someone who knows more than me.

I'm not slow or incompetent and I follow the food safety standards in both letter and spirit. But there are things that she knows that I don't, such as slightly better technique for burgers to make them a little bit better. Nothing dramatic, but worth knowing. So it's not as if she's nitpicking every damn little pointless detail. There's someone else who does that, who I do not believe has ever smiled.

It's annoying to me. The thought process is something along the lines of this: I'm doing an adequate job and have little incentive to improve beyond that, please stop bothering me.

Which brings me to my opening line: "So that's what I sounded like..." That's me. Or was me. I was the person telling people who were doing well enough that they weren't doing this little thing right. Change this thing or that thing. It's not that I was wrong or that all of it was trivial and pointless, but damn, it's annoying being on the other side!

The real kicker may be the triviality of it all: a burger joint, a trivialized heroic. In the context, performance improvements just don't mean much. But some people just cannot keep their damn mouths shut and have to point out everything. It's mentally painful for us to not point out the deficiencies of others and sometimes we're lucky enough to be in an area where we are the experts of the trivial task. For her it is food. For me it was WoW. And damn are we annoying.


Kring said...

I think it's more like this saying:

show me one thing i did wrong and I will thank you
show me everything I did wrong and I will loathe you

Shintar said...

Heh, that reminds me of when I worked at a bakery and on one of my first couple of days one of the more senior workers got annoyed with me for sweeping the floor "the wrong way". It was a bit exasperating but in the end it mostly drove home the point that someone dedicated to their job can turn everything into an art. I think that's kind of admirable really.

Klepsacovic said...

@Kring: I have never heard that before, but it works!

@Shintar: Art may be admirable, but artists are often pretty annoying (not all).

Andenthal said...

(repost due to me forgetting posting formatting syntax)
There's another schools of thought you could use here.

If you can't master the simple task, why should I believe that you are capable of handling the more advance task?

{insert various WoW analogies here}

Klepsacovic said...

@Andenthal: Within the context of the single random instance, or the grill, there is no advanced task to worry about.

Andenthal said...

@Klepsacovic: That's true if you never want another job in your life, and/or never want to do any other instance in the game - ever.

You'll never want to move to a different position within the same organization (management)? Or get a letter of recommendation from the manager while going to a better (preferred) job?

The next 5 man might be harder than this one. If you're making par on this one, the next one you'll be under performing. You can't know that "good enough" on this will also be "good enough" on the next one. I think you were still playing toward the end of WotLK, correct? How "hard" the ICC 5 mans were when they were first released? Players had stopped trying to better themselves and were content with being "good enough" for Gun'drak, et al.

The point is there's ALWAYS a next (better) step. You can't move on to a higher level, until you master the lower one.

(also dimclaimer about not trying to change anyone's opinion - just pointing out another school of thought)

Klepsacovic said...

What I meant was that within the present group, there is no advanced task. I won't be raiding with anyone I meet in a heroic. It is unlikely that I will work with anyone at my current job, since it is, much like a random heroic, just a bunch of people thrown together grinding out time to pay for something else worthwhile.

My disagreement is entirely contextual. Before randoms, when the people I ran heroics with were potential guild members, or at least members of future heroics, then there were "advanced tasks" to consider. When I have a career-oriented job, then the basic skills will matter much more.

I probably wasn't clear enough, that what I was referring to tend to be specific skills. I really do hope that my ability to perfectly time the flipping of a burger does not have any relevance to my future career, much as someone not knowing the abilities of a leveling instance boss probably will never matter.

There is also the care cup factor. If I'm doing my hundreth overgeared run of some place, I probably don't care enough. When I get to a harder place, I will care and will act differently.

Syl said...

I am hungry now.


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