I am a frequent reader of Brent Ozar PLF, it is one of my favorite blogs. A recent post announced a “Who Wrote This?” contest to see if readers could tell their three contributors apart based on some writing samples. Here are my favorite lines from the sample paragraphs, from each of the three “mystery authors.”
Topic 1: Working with Bad Managers
Mystery Author A – “Working with bad managers means working against my own happiness, and I’ve come to learn that there’s no changing bad managers.”
I love this line because, as anyone who has had a bad manager knows, often a lot of self-doubt rises up. We all have to remember that sometimes the problem is out of our control.
Mystery Author B – “Mentor your manager just like you would mentor a junior DBA.”
Having a bad manager can be extremely depressing, and we often feel out of control. But we all need to remember that our work is a two-way street, and that sometimes we can subtly influence those above us.
Mystery Author C – “The trick to working for all bad managers is to remember that they aren’t your parent. Take charge of your career.”
We all also need to learn not to play the blame game. Would you rather stay in a place where you are unhappy, or would you rather take charge of your life? I hope most people would pick the latter.
Topic 2: Working with Remote Teams
Mystery Author A – “Like almost anything else the key is to make sure that everyone on the team has an understanding of how and when communication will occur.”
Communication is so important. I cannot over emphasize how much. And this one line captures how I feel and even communicates the idea clearly!
Mystery Author B – “The key to remote team success is verifiable trust: feeling confident that invisible team members are doing the right amount of the right thing at the right time.”
I think this line not only captures the key aspects of remote work – verifiable work and trust – but there were so many lines that followed that I loved and could not fit here. The whole paragraph is a list for successful remote work. Everyone could benefit from reading it.
Mystery Author C – “What seems clear, precise, and specific in one time zone comes across as vague, soupy, and just plain weird in another.”
You know what? I just love this description. The author is right – sometimes vague e-mails really do seem soupy and weird!
Topic 3: Working with Your Nemesis
Mystery Author A – “Every job is temporary, but your reputation stays with you.”
Everyone needs to remember this. The workplace is meant to be a professional arena, and many people have the opinion that work is temporary and disposable. No one wants to work with co-worker like that.
Mystery Author B – “Unhealthy conflict is going to lead to leaving three week old tuna fish sandwiches in someone’s desk drawer.”
Sometimes humor really is the best policy!
Mystery Author C – “Oh no, it’s that guy.”
This might seem like a weird phrase to choose as my favorite from an entire paragraph. But the whole piece was written in the form of a story of co-workers getting drunk and plotting against a nemesis. It was too funny to overlook, but too long to post here. A must read!
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)