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Wednesday, March 11, 2015


This is Steven Petrick posting.

Communications failures abound in life.

Not too long ago SVC decided on a project. As part of this project he assigned me to review a rule submission. All well and good, I had done such things before.

In this case, however, I responded in a somewhat miffed tone that it was near the end of the day, and the job SVC had just given me to do would require (in order to meet the deadline SVC was imposing) me to work through the night, and I had not even had dinner yet.

As one might imagine, my negative complaint in turn angered SVC. He knew that reviewing a new rule was something I had done many times, and at most it would take me only a few hours. From his standpoint I was being unreasonable and petulant.

Neither of us knew that the other was working from a false premise.

I was quite aware that the rule SVC was directing me to review did not exist, and therefore he was not actually assigning me to review the rule, but to create the rule virtually from scratch. That is not a few hours work, that is an all day job, and to meet the deadline of noon the following day would require me to stay all night.

SVC, however, honestly believed he was in fact telling me to review a written rule provided by a someone outside of the company. The individual concerned had submitted several pages of material and the rule was included in that material.

The ultimate problem was that, yes, the individual had submitted several pages of material, but where the rule was concerned had simply noted (in effect) "ADB will have to create this rule to support this submission." There was literally nothing more than that in so far as this rule.

So both SVC and I were angry. I because I believed he was imposing an unreasonable deadline to create a new rule virtually from scratch, SVC because he believed I was being unreasonable about refusing to review a proposed game rule which he knew would take only a few hours. He was being courteous to tell me about it the night before so that I could work on it the next morning, coming at the job fresh after a night's sleep.

Miscommunications like this can be very destructive. Sometimes they do not work out and friendships can be destroyed. In this case, our "discussion" on the matter eventually got to the point where we both went back to the "draft rule" only to discover that, yes, all the author had sent was a rule title and (again in essence) "ADB will have to create this rule to support this submission." At that point SVC extended the deadline (because he had decided that he did want this project to be done), allowing me a day to get the job done, and all was well with the world once more.