Down & Brown
since 1998

How do you deal with this?

One of the most difficult things for me to deal with is young managers, usually inexperienced in having to deal with issues relating to computers or technology.

The thing that makes me the most frustrated and uncomfortable is the phrase that starts with, "Well, I thought because you work on computers, you might now why...".

Or, you just know the shit is going to hit the fan when a rebuttal comes with, "Well, I had assumed that because you were so smart, since you work on computers, you would have forseen [ this crappy outcome ]...".

Look, if this just happens to me (maybe because I'm a young developer) then I'll accept that there is something I'm doing wrong in the lead up to those kinds of interactions. But please, surely it's not just me.

The most unfortunate thing about this is that more often than not - it's women. Suggesting this is obviously problematic, but this mostly occurs with young female managers who have a responsibility to deliver an outcome or manage a process which might be related to technology in some way. Recently there was also a young male who was in a similar situation and the way he tried to negotiate a positive outcome was very similar; flattery, disbelief and then emotional dispair.

For me that's the key behind this, emotional or personal cues and language used for business related communication.

To put it mildly, I'm more 'emotionally aware' than most and as a result I'm pretty sensitive to this kind of communication - it frustrates me no end. I want the people I work with to like me but when communicating with them in this way, it's too personal - negative responses and outcomes are sometimes loaded with a whole 'nother level of expectation.

Obviously there are many smart ways to deal with this but for the most it's exposure, experience and personal awareness which makes this easier; it has for me, but it's still incredibly frustrating.