Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More on Marginalization

I just want to be clear: I don't think that being a shut-in inherently leads to significant reduction in being-a-playerism in the workplace. To the contrary, in some organizations the biggest players of all are those who use telecommuting technology to be everywhere at once. It can be a signal of power to be so important that you're contactable and critical from your villa in France or whathaveyou.

In my line of work, however, the non-technical staff members place the highest value on face-to-face contact. People who succeed in the business side of the operation are those who excel in personal interaction, in getting visits with their prospects, and in advancing those relationships.

And like it or not, people like that can forget about you when you're far away. Certainly, there are lots of ways to get back on the radar screen: lots of onsite visits, ready email and phone contact, producing work that advances their work.

But I do think there is a trade-off for being outta sight, which is that you are just a bit outta mind.


Anonymous said...

You sound like your getting neurotic in your isolation.

Stella Commute said...

Thanks for writing. Certainly, neuroticism and paranoia are part of the mix! But I try not to let mental illness get in the way of enjoying life, you know?

What I'm trying to say is this: in my particular job I work on an island of IT enlightenment in a sea of people in Brooks Brothers suits who are measured and rewarded on their ability to score face-to-face visits with folks and solicit them for gifts to support our fine institution. Even for the Real Office workers in my IT shop, our management is largely puzzled by what we do and is never quite sure how to measure and reward it. This disconnect is magnified for me by my distance -- I report frequently on what I'm doing with lots of specifics, but those specifics don't make much sense to those outside our IT wonderland.