Friday, September 22, 2006

The Fawner

The Fawner hides in a corner at meetings, where she can be heard but not seen. She makes the smallest noises but they grow on you. She murmers approval at every breath. Mmmm. Ooooh. Wow. She cannot help herself, if the speaker is powerful and important. Everything he says is deserving of assent. Oh. Okay. He may not hear her, consciously, but deep down somewhere something hears, and knows, she approves, she thinks he's wonderful. He likes that.

I see, she barely whispers. My goodness, oh wow, oh gosh. She's a babbling brook of consent. She especially loves presentations, with charts that go up amidst bullet points. Interesting. Oh. Oh yes.

She can also jump in without notice, if she needs to prove herself competent. She had failed to answer the previous question, but oh my never again. Now, when someone else answers, she leaps up on board, repeating their words just slightly after they're said, and then she'll tail off, and let the other go on. Did you see how she defers? She is gracious, and now everyone knows she is smart.

She has "emotional" intelligence.

The Fawner is easily impressed. Anyone in a position of authority can be nodded at. The boss is to be complemented on every occasion. She plays no favorites, has no bias. You can be young or old, man or woman, black or white, if you're in charge, she's right behind you, all the way.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Micro Man

Pay close attention. Details are the essence of the matter. This philosophy can be applied to anything and everything. Micro Man is the master of minutia. Give him an inch, he'll take it, one millimeter at a time. Give him an hour, he's got you all day long.

If you ask him a question, be prepared for a voluminous response. If you ask for advice, you'll never hear the end of it. Micro Man not only knows the details, he knows the details of the details. He always gets to the bottom of the problem, and then to the bottom of the bottom. Don't be in any hurry. Micro Man is not.

Did I mention that whatever it is it must be perfect in every way? Otherwise, Micro Man will throw it out. He'll keep going and going until he gets it right. There's no other way to stop him. Words have no effect.

At work the Micro Man drives everybody crazy. His projects are always late. His meetings are always eternal. His emails are measured in pages. He considers every angle. He discuses every consideration. He plans every plan and plans the planning of those plans. Infinite regression is no stranger to the Micro Man.

Sometimes he can be stumped. Getting dressed in the morning can be hard. There are advantages and disadvantages to every possible combination of wearable items. Likewise, meals are problematic. Where another might just grab something and go, the Micro Man can not. It is fortunate that he has but one possible route to drive to work. When two approaches yield identical results, he can by stymied completely. He must find the optimal solution or die.

When dealing with the Micro Man, you must become a Micro Manager yourself. Don't say anything that may give him an opening. Don't ask him for anything, especially if there are time constraints. Don't start a conversation he will not be able to complete. Think before you speak to him, and then think twice. Will it be worth it? How will I be able to get away?

Micro Man is a time-eating trap. You might see him glancing over, hoping to ensnare. Look away! Look away fast. You have better things to do.