Pushing around responsibility


It's the "R" word! Run!

Human beings can’t exist alone; we need help from each other; support those who are in need; do not be afraid to ask for help; as a team we support each other.  All is good and they are all true.  But before spreading the above-written sentences to the world, one needs to ask these to him/herself: did you really give your best to tackle the problem? Is is absolutely impossible to be done by yourself? Do you really need someone else’s help for the task? Have you fulfilled your responsiblity? Also maybe it is necessary to consider whether that other person, whom you are going to ask for a help, has her own duties to do. Most importantly, if you receive a help, appreciate it and show your appreciation.  He/She is doing you a favor, not the other way around, so never take it for granted.

Unfortunately, regardless of age and position, there are lot of people who just do not do their job: even worse, they push it to others and plate it like they did it. Of course they take the help for granted.  Leaving your responsibility to someone else is worse, because the consequence of former usually falls on just one person, the neglector.  But later affects a whole lot of people in a negative way.

Once, my good friend in States, Brandon, shared his dad’s office nightmare story.  His dad’s colleague finished a reporting and project.  Later in turned out that this guy took advantage of his colleagues.  Meaning, he did not do a single job for his task; instead he divided the efforts needed to complete this goal and threw it over to his colleagues.  Many were pissed angry, and Brandon’s dad ended up transferring to a different department.  When I heard this story, I sympathized him but could not really feel for him – until I fell into a very similar situation.

Now HS started to ask some questions about the job she will take over; her cutting off in the middle my explanation really decreased so I feel more comfortable to pass my job knowledge to her. I told her to resize the pics and make sure give everyone their copy of training materials and pictures at the end of program, burnt in CD.  Then she asked: “Um…are you busy?” I thought she was asking the very moment.  “Not particularly, why?” Then she said: “Could you please prepare and burn those for me?”


Okay, okay, maybe she feels like the work is overwhelming for her at this point. Let’s be nice.

“Um, I can, but I think it’s really better for you to do it.  This is also done in other programs too, and since you will be in charge of EC Program AND many other programs in the future too, I think it is better for you to have a direct, first-hand experience on it.  Besides, I do not think burning a CD and making 10 copies of it really doesn’t take that much of effort and time.”

“Well…I have a week-long business trip coming up and I would like to prepare as much as I can before I go on a trip. And since you have run the program, you know.”

To be honest, how long does it take to copy the pics, resize them, burn those on the CD with documents and make 10 copies?  I’d say less than 30 minutes. And, I can give her advices and guidance on the job, but doing the actual part for her is not appropriate.  If she is about to be buried by her workload therefore have absolutely no time, sure, I’ll gladly help her.  On the top of that, we still have 2 months.  But again – what’s the point of arguing?  Quoting from Korean proverb, it’s like a “reading prayer to a cow.”  So I simply said alright, alright.

Then, few days later, Yoon and HS went to the program director’s office – which was a bit ridiculous, because I, who actually ran the program, was not included.  After they came back, they asked me to make a short report of program history and development.  Sure, no problem.  But there were some points I wanted to be cleared up, so I asked a few things.  Yoon and HS said that they might have to check with the director again.  Then, HS said to me: “Er…why don’t you call him? Since you’ll be the one who’s writing it and you’ve run the program…”

Again – What?  I didn’t talk with the director directly.  YOU GUYS talked with director and you guys are assigning this to me.  As the number of communication channel decreases, the efficiency increases. Apparently this was not a common sense.  All in all, Yoon said she will check with the director. Phew.

No intention to play that I-am-high-up-on-the-horse card, yet I believe I am quiet a responsible person, especially considering my upbringing.  If you are living in a boarding school that is literally at the opposite side of globe from your home since age 13, you realize that there are no parents to come and bail you out with a single phone call, do your laundry, vacuum your room and give you a free ride for shopping and moving in.  In short, you naturally and automatically learn that you are on your own, and you are the only one who can save your butt (note: I am grateful for my parents to enable me to learn this at very early age).  Meanwhile I was truly blessed to get to know countless number of good people who are willing to help me despite of their daily tasks.  I cannot thank them enough.  That’s the story of my life from 13 to 22.  I am not saying everyone should put their kids to boarding school so they can be a responsible person: if you offer a proper upbringing and education, a sense of responsibility and good work ethic will grow naturally.  I know a lot of kids who were still babysitted by their parents despite they are attending a boarding school.  To their parents, I really want to ask: why, then, did you put your kid to the dormitory?

Just do it: Nike was genius to come with a phrase like this.  Just do your job, be responsible, work hard, don’t take a help for granted, and be appreciative. Isn’t that the wisdom of life?

The answer of the real world is..."not really, ma'am."


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