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Written by Mary Higgins
The last thing you ever ever ever ever ever want to do is to directly answer a person’s question. The moment you give an answer is the exact moment that you become responsible for every possible infinite action that occurs as a result of your response. Did you say the meeting was at 2pm when it has been moved to 2:30pm? Well, now you’re responsible for all of the pain and suffering in the world. Did you give someone the wrong directions to the museum? Well, now you can be linked to a string of serial murders in Nebraska that are going to take place in the summer of 2127.

But what are you to do? You can’t just stand there with a dumb look on your face while someone is waiting for an answer to a question for which you are responsible. At the same time, you can’t tell the person that you don’t know and therefore look like a useless idiot. How can you be reasonably confident that you will provide an answer to their question without giving any information whatsoever? The answer, my friends, is to grant your questioner Full Discovery.

If someone asks you a simple question then you should give them nothing less than every document, file, email, photocopy, or sticky note ever produced in the course of discussions around the topic at hand. Don’t you dare read through the information and try to understand it – even if it is your job! Forward on that email with a ridiculous number of attached emails and simply write “FYI” in the body. Later on, when someone else has screwed up because they didn’t have the information, you can look on disapprovingly and whisper to your friend “He should have read his email.”

Empty out your hard drive and pass it along in an encrypted zip file. If the person doesn’t speak Chinese then give him the information in Chinese only. Don’t you even think of doing your job because that is the exact sort of mistake that will get you fired! Remember there is a “me” in “Team” and don’t you forget it. If you want to get ahead in this world then you better start doing as little as possible and passing your burdens onto others. It’s the only way to survive.

Our valuable Editor Mary Higgins has been with us since Tuesday, 24 November 2009.

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0 #2 ND 2010-03-31 03:10
yeah..but mary i think ment more the work mentality of many locals here, hehe. that is what I interpreted from that article...i can confirm it...yeah i have seen expats like that too (but rarely, I must say). lazy, lousy, lamer-asses who load THEIR responsibility on others. :-D
0 #1 Peter 2010-03-13 23:10
by not reacting is a reaction in itself that has consequences..

the number of expats i know that try to make themselves feel better by talking about 'how better their life is here compared to other expats' is extraordinary..

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