Now, I’d like to take a moment to address a problem that affects us all, infecting nearly every workplace, and many other organizations.
You will know these people be their tendency to give you detailed instructions on every aspect of your job. They have more “good advice” than Oprah, and they rarely have an actual management position or title (actual managers don’t have time for the fiddly-bits of your job).
They also have a virtually unassailable defense mechanism, developed over years of pissing people off: “I was just trying to be helpful..,” making their assailants feel like turds for not appreciating their good intentions and un-asked-for assistance.
But their charitable contributions always just feel wrong, and I think I’ve figured out why. A truly helpful person will give you the respect and credit of assuming that you already know things. A helpful person isn’t so damn condescending!
So why am I writing about this on the ManCrafting blog? Well, firstly, because I hate them so fucking much! But like all things that stir such an emotional reaction, it reflects something of myself that I find disdainful. We all want to be the Wise Counselor – the resident Gandalf – without having lived the hard life of significant accomplishment that we see in those with genuine wisdom. As for myself, I couldn’t help but notice that people (myself included) didn’t like to hear advice. This is how, as a young man, I learned to keep my “wisdom” to myself.
Now that I’m a little more seasoned (if cranking a 30-years-old hard rock hit from a minivan is seasoned…Nailed it!), I may offer a different perspective to people in a conversation with friends, but that’s about it.
But how is the ManCrafting blog different from this? Well, I’m not offering this to anyone who didn’t ask for it, and I’m trying not to say what someone ‘should’ do (I just cringe at any sentence that starts with “You should…”). But in my long search for The Answer (nothing yet, but if I find It, I’ll be sure to post It here), I’ve come across some good ideas. I’ve found others with a fondness for good ideas, and I want to weigh and measure our good ideas against one another, so I don’t leave these ideas unchallenged. Let’s have an idea crash-test together!
And when some micromanager starts in on us, I think it’s time we stopped suffering these fools lightly; a polite reminder of their rudeness may be in order.