Hey, Boss, Pick Me, Pick Me
Remember those classmates who practically knocked you off your chair in their eagerness to raise their hand and answer the teacher’s question? We thought of them as show-offs or know-it-alls. Now, in the office, we refer to them as suck-ups and as-ki—–. The office “Super-Fast Responder” has similar annoying qualities, but plays a different role.
This is the guy who, when given an assignment or even just doing his routine work, always gets it done first and makes sure the boss knows it. It can also be the gal who responds to your emails, voice mails, etc. IMMEDIATELY, even when you don’t require a quick response. It almost takes the form of an obsession.
Now, this could be a form or adult Attention Deficit Disorder or poor organizational skills. But the problem for the rest of us, who get our work done, too, is that the Super-Fast Responder (SFR) often makes us look bad.
I experienced this when I worked for the graphic design department of a big corporation. My new boss didn’t like me and went out of her way to be a p.i.a. Thinking that I wasn’t able to keep up with my work (in actuality, there was enough work for three people); she hired a friend of hers to freelance for us. This friend would always zip out the work and bring it back the next day. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see this friend wanted my job and my boss was on board, too. I worked on a huge drafting table and would have multiple projects going at once. The freelancer/saboteur told my boss that I’d obviously been working on the same poster for days since it was still on my table. When my boss asked me about it, I told her that I worked on top of the poster and around it on about 25 different projects. I doubt if she believed me, but it was my first major Super-Fast Responder moment.
So those of you who are very efficient at your job duties/tasks, but might take the extra time to make sure they’re done well and correctly, could be overshadowed by the SFR. But be patient. Very often the SFR’s work product is shoddy and ill-prepared. It may take awhile, but an astute boss and/or co-workers will eventually catch on to this MO.
This is a post by Nancy LaFever. You can read more from her at the Centre for Emotional Wellbeing blog.