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Friday Rant: Just Google It?

*Rant On*

Google is a useful tool.  Google leads us to the internet sites that we want and need.  Google’s ability to guess our search as we are typing it even borders on scary – BUT – when I ask you for information well within the scope of your job description the last thing I want to hear is use Google.

This week I had the somewhat daunting task of hosting two volunteer activities at two different sites with the kids my employer works with (I work at a non-profit) and volunteers from a large company.  I work at a place where we deal a lot with kids, however I am not a kid expert.  This becomes important later.

This is the gist of a conversation that I had with a co-worker about the event:

Her: They are bringing an activity to the event, right?

Me: Umm…no they aren’t bringing an activity.  We wanted them to do a book drive.  They are bringing books for the kids.

Her:  Email them and tell them they need to bring an activity. (BTW, this was the day before the event)

Me: What do you suggest I tell them for this age group?

Her: I don’t know.

Me: What should they do then?

Her: They can look up activities on Google.

Say what?!  Your job is working with kids.  YOUR. JOB.  And instead of giving me ideas, you tell me to look it up on Google.  I tried to be tactful and remind her that she is the expert on kids whereby she proceeded to tell me that she was not.  This would be like a surgeon saying they have no idea how to use a scalpel or an accountant who failed math.  Absolutely and completely ridiculous.

Note to clueless co-worker: Google is a reference tool it CAN’T DO YOUR JOB FOR YOU.

*Rant Off*

There’s a time and a place for facts.  And there’s a time and a place for experience.  One can’t take the place of the other.

Has this happened to you?  Do you prefer facts or expertise when you need a solution?

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A Chance To Say Thanks

I walked into a coffee shop today and saw a man sitting at a table.  A man I’d been thinking about last night while paring down my collection of business cards.  A man that I worked with for years at an extremely dysfunctional business.  A man whom, despite the occasional work-related butting of heads, I liked.  While we didn’t hang out on the weekends or become bosom buddies, we did develop a mutual respect and a good working relationship.

A little back story – this gentleman’s company provided IT service for my old workplace.  Unfortunately, his contract was cancelled abruptly and the company less than a year later hired some of his employees directly to provide the same service for us.  It was underhanded, shady and entirely inappropriate.  Admittedly, this gentleman had a lot of room for growth and learning in his chosen vocation.  There were many times when I had it out with his underlings knowing full well that what I was asking them to do was in the realm of possibility while being told by them that it was not (I’m not a guru but I’m not technology illiterate either).  However, the way in which he was treated shocked me and a lot of others at the company.

I hadn’t seen him in years, but I’m glad I chanced to meet him today.  When I really needed a hand, he was willing to help.  Years back, my husband had been laid off unexpectedly for the 2nd time in three years.  This was part and parcel of the type of business he was in at the time.  I went to this gentleman and asked if he could hire on my husband even part-time.  After laying out my husband’s strengths in IT, he hired him.  Today, I had the chance to thank him again for that kindness.  A kindness that helped my husband to make a new start in a field that he really enjoys.

Who would you thank if you could?  An old friend?  Lover?  Former co-worker?  Don’t wait.  Reach out to them now and let them know you’re grateful for all their help.

Picture of Thank You key
Thanking you very much!