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.
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?