I’ve been working on a project at the office which involves working with a media company to produce a suite of ten video case studies. From the get-go, the producer spelled out exactly what he needed from our team in terms of pre-filming-requisites, of which one was to provide the questions for the off-camera interviewer/director as well as the expected responses so that the crew could be sure that they were capturing the necessary information on the day.
For weeks, therefore, yours truly has been requesting questions and answers to pass on to the producer. At first I thought my colleagues were being their usual time-poor “I’ll get it to you tomorrow, I promise!” selves. After a while the questions came through, but the answers were still lacking. When asked, the reply was, “You’ll be fine, don’t think you need the answers. Just tell that to the producer – we’ll be alright.” The producer expressed his concern: “We’ve read the questions… need some clarity on some of the terms used. Are you absolutely sure we can’t get the answers in advance? We’re really concerned we won’t get what we need on the day.”
Yesterday, the first shoot on the schedule took place. Afterward, one of my colleagues emailed the team to share learnings from the experience. One of the points mentioned was “Must prepare/provide answers for the questions well before the day.”
Wow. That has a familiar ring to it, doesn’t it?
I reached over and fished out the pieces of the broken record that I’d flung into the bin days ago and glued them together. Then I did a dance around the room and shouted “TOLDYOUSO!” several times to no one in particular.
No. Of course I didn’t.
The problem with working with a bunch of guys who think they are the smartest people they know, and who are used to getting their own way all the time, is that they have no hesitation in telling others (who are simply trying to guide them in what they know best) how to suck eggs. But sometimes, they end up with just a bit of scrambled goo on their faces.