Whom you would like to talk to when things seems to go wrong at your job?
The answer could be your boss, or your closest colleagues, or could also be no one at work. Perhaps, the answer can be anyone, even those who don’t have anything to do with your job. It is difficult to name the right or best person to talk to when we are facing problems at work. Problems at work are often time is not merely about solving those problems. It is also about the various possible consequences that may come from those problems and from the ways we handle those problems. Factors such as trust, comfort, confidentiality, suspicion, prejudice, office politics, self-pride, self-impression, power and authority will be part of it. When we are in the middle of a problem at work, it is not easy to just talk to everyone about it. It is the reality at work.
In short, it is a complicated question, with complicated answer. It is about big problem, and need an answer that equally big.
Let’s try another question. Whom you would like to talk to when you need a cup of coffee to start your work with? Or, whom you would like to talk to when you need to have the office meeting room ready for tomorrow’s meeting?
These kind of questions are easy. The answer for the first question, for instance, is quite easy. We might need to talk with our assistant for help, or just go the coffee machine if you have one. Or, in my office, I will go to the pantry and ask the help from the coffee-lady for a cup. On the second question, the answer is pretty much easy as well. We just need to see the janitor or whoever in charge for the room setting and clean up.
For question related with these simple and seemingly small things, the answer is easy.
Why? Because we see the solution for these simple problems such as looking for a cup of coffee or preparing a room for tomorrow meeting is easy to get. All of these are small things that happen often and solved often too. They are so easy that we probably never think about them as problems……
…until you find out that your assistant is on leave until next week, or the coffee lady ids out-of-town until next month, or the janitor resign for the a better opportunity out there.
In contrast to the first complex question that seems to need a lot of thoughts and consideration, these small and simple things tends to fall out in comparison. The first question is indeed a big question. Just like many other big questions about ‘big stuffs’ such as global economy, the future of humanity, or the meaning of love in digital age; it is a question that push us up to the roof and pull us down to the ditch at the same time. It is about big ideas that rarely work well, put us in trouble, and therefore attract us to focus more on them.
….and our focus on these big ideas pull us away from the small solutions we easily enjoy with very little effort everyday.
When these ‘always-ready’ small solutions for these small things are suddenly gone, we realize that they are actually not that ‘small’. They are the small things that work quite consistent in everyday situation, se we get used to them and taken them for granted. While they are getting underrated, we tends to glorify the big ideas despite the fact that they rarely work.
Ironically, often times it is the small thing that work that save the day, instead big idea that doesn’t.