Friday, January 16, 2009

I Love Le Mot Just

I've coined some words in my day (greatest achievement: IMterruption: being interrupted by an IM). Bob Sutton has drawn my attention to a great new word: hasshole. This magical combination of hassle and asshole really describes a certain kind of customer. I'm fortunate that nobody I work with now suffers from this condition. And I'm not just saying that because I want to keep my job; it genuinely seems to be true that everyone has enough to keep them busy. As long as you deliver what they need when they need it, they're generally content to leave you alone whilst you do it.

I have experienced folks like this in the past, though. You know the type: they would like you to produce something for them, but they also want to call you several times a day and regale you with how important getting it done in a timely fashion is.

I am a firm believer in an explicit hassle-tax. I will tell hassholes (generally during the third call within a single work day), "You know, I was working on your project. Now that we've had this forty-five minute call, I'm going to stop working on it for that same amount of time. You've just taken me from your project for a total of an hour and a half. Please consider this before you call me again. Thanks!"

Of course, I'm a doufus, so I don't actually stop working on their project. My logic is the sooner I get something off my desk and into a hasshole's hot little hands, the sooner the hasshole will leave me alone. Oh, and I like to get things done quickly.

It's a sneaky way of under-promising and over-delivering. Or over-threatening and under-punishing.

Photo from Wikipedia. Don't Hassle the Hoff.

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