Herding cats


You know what the Internet needs? More cat pictures.So by now perhaps you’re thinking, “These people sound pretty useful – where can I get one?” Ah, now, not so fast. I may have given you the impression that it’s great to have a jargonaut on your team,  and certainly that can be true, but they also come with a caveat. The type of person who fits this role can be a nightmare to manage. I couldn’t possibly comment in my own case, obviously … but some of my readers know me and/or my line manager personally, and I can feel the effects of the gentle nodding and wry smiles from here.

So, what’s the problem? Bright helpful people who see both sides of the problem – how bad can they be to supervise? I’d ask you to take another look at my bio to help answer that question. I’ve worked in restaurant kitchens, factories, offices, shops and hotels. I’ve been quite good at everything I’ve done – not brilliant maybe, but good enough to get the job done. But I’ve been able to be equally engaged in all these different things over the years because everything interests me. Everything. I’m like a kitten with a ball of string in front of an aquarium in the middle of a flock of starlings. What’s that over there? What’s next? Where did that go? What happens if I do this?

And sadly once I have enough answers to put the picture together, like so many of my kind, I can get bored. So I’ll go looking for cool new stuff to get involved in and help with. It has happened everywhere I have worked, no matter how technical or absorbing or pressured the role. Sooner or later I need new input.

That makes me both useful – look at the range of things I can talk about! – and irritating – what does it take to get me to actually stick with something?

If you take a look at the team you’re in now, the chances are you already have someone like me. They may not be in the right role yet though. If you have someone who rarely completes a project, hates routine tasks, always takes an interest in other people’s work and is never short of helpful suggestions, that might be them. They probably drive you crazy, let’s face it. It’s OK, you can admit it here amongst friends … I understand. If it’s me doing it to you, even more so. And I apologise, but hey – work with me here. Play to my strengths. I promise you it will be worth it.

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About jargonaut

Unashamed geek lost in policy land. Frequently required to believe three impossible things before breakfast, and implement them by tea time.
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3 Responses to Herding cats

  1. I really like your writing style, it is very engaging and easy to digest. I look forward to reading more of you blog over the coming weeks and months

  2. Joanne Fry says:

    I am actually chuckling away reading this; having worked with you for two years I can totally agree, although I never found you irritating, despite the fact that I am quite linear/structured/like to finish projects. Maybe it’s a question of knowing how to manage relationships, and some people (nudge nudge wink wink) clearly don’t! ;o)

    • jargonaut says:

      Nice to know I’m getting it right at least some of the time! My theory is that you and I worked effectively together more because of our different styles than in spite of them. Certainly I’d have been less productive without your skills in keeping me on track.

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