I think we’ve always been told to behave ourselves, because one never knows who may be watching and taking note. Even in our most unguarded moments, someone is probably eyeing us and remembering our gestures, tone, and attitude.
Sometimes, that’s a great thing. Others… well, let’s just say not so great.
Even though most of us hear this familiar warning in the context of how to behave socially, the same is true in the workplace. Maybe even doubly so.
I had a very cogent lesson today on how a couple of developers basically co-opted a pair of development servers because it made their jobs easier, but effectively broke every body else’s ability to use the development environments.
For me, this represented almost two days’ worth of effort in trying to run to ground an issue that was really a ghost in the machine.
I’m quite certain that the developers had no ill intent whatsoever.
Still, it doesn’t negate the fact that what they did (basically ignoring development protocol and testing standards at this particular shop) caused several projects to go long and expensive high value development talent (the smart guys that ran the problem to ground) to spin their wheels for several hours.
Work, as in life, is more than just showing up.
Have some situational awareness and remember that everything you do has a consequence, and matters. Even when you think it doesn’t.