More on Break Down Guy

Alright, I feel I left you guys hanging with my story about the "typical" HK worker whom I thought was in a sad situation. A little recap: this guy who just joined Analysis Group broke down at 4am and started crying to everybody he spoke with. He refused all help offered and insisted that he himself was the center of problems. At the same time, he talked about quitting the company because he doesn't think he's treated right.

So of course you see the conflicting comments already (the latter one wasn't mentioned in the earlier emails). On one hand he thinks it's unfair. On another hand he thinks it's his fault. And all in all, he thinks he needs to work alone to solve all problems. He refuses help and wants to keep everything a secret.

And I was talking about a typical HK employee in the same sense. They all work so hard with absolutely no target in mind. They say yes to every request. They think that if they finish it quick and without help, they will be recognized for their working prowness, if you will.

If I could yell at this guy (and many more HK dudes who pretty much behave the same), I would:

First off, you cannot say yes to everything. The world of working consists of givers and takers. Givers will be bigger givers if takes become bigger takers. You have to stop the cycle. ESPECIALLY if you don't like it. If you like it, all bets are off. Work 24 hours. I don't care. If you don't, JUST SAY NO. What's the big deal when you say no to an unreasonable request?

Second, why blame yourself? There're are at least two people: you and your manager. There's also your other colleagues, your manager's manager. If you are the only person working at 5AM for your team and everybody else is gone, you have a real problem. Certainly, some blame falls on you. But it doesn't ALL fall on you.

Third, why refuse genuine help? Why try to be your own hero when you can't? Does asking help show a weakness? NO. It shows that you understand your weaknesses and you are working to address it. Always ask for help. And if help is offered, don't refuse it. Use resources that are available to you!


Office Story

Tuesday: the previous day I worked until 3 am and went back home. I woke up at 730 am because a colleague and I were going to interview at Tufts University. That started at 900 am and ended at about 500pm. Of course I still have my Thursday deadline for work and Friday deadline for school. To be honest, unless I can find another body to substitute me at Tufts, I have to go.Anyway, after interviews ended, I headed back to the office and started to work. To be honest, I'm much more efficient at night. Nobody calls to disturb my work and I can work at an astonishing speed when I am not bothered. So the night keeps going by...

And I'm almost done with my work at about 4am. Ready to go home. Call my colleague to see if he needs any help. Then he tells me that another colleague of mine just had a mental breakdown in the office and is crying uncontrollably. Great. Now I can be a baby sitter too. The guy is talking to his parents on the phone while crying and just couldn't get a hold of himself. After hanging up, I go to his office and tell him to GO BACK HOME RIGHT NOW.He refuses. Saying that he has to finish his stuff before 8am. I told him that he must go home now because he cannot work inn his state of mind. Just doesn't work like that. He's probably 10% efficient and at 10% efficiency, nobody should be working. Refused again. Finally, my colleague and I tell this broken guy that we won't leave unless he leaves. Furthermore, since I was the most senior of the three, I told him whom he should talk to for help. In these situations, although hefault lies with the analyst, whoever is the manager MUST bare responsibility. And if this broken guy doesn't speak up, he will be broken all the time. Predictably, he insisted that he should solve everything himself and he didn't want to seek help. UP TO YOU, I said, withholding DUMBASS in my sentence, BUT I'M HERE TO HELP YOU AND IF YOU DON'T WANT TO TALK TO "THEM", I CAN DO THAT FOR YOU. Refused.So, the night ended at 5am when I literally dragged this guy out of his office, put him on my car, and drove him back to his home (near mine, luckily) and told him to skip the morning meeting.

Wednesday: The guy told me not to tell anyone. But I just felt that I had to. Analysis Group treats me very well and I think it should treat every employee just as well. I spoke to the people in charge (HR-type, for emergencies and personal problems, etc.) and the issue has since been resolved.