Fools aka Pratts

Why do we put up with fools?

Well the first step is to define a fool. Yes we have all met them, worked with them and sometimes we have all been one. If you know you have acted like a fool that’s a start but a lot of people really don’t know when they are being a complete 22 carat unmitigated pratt.

So consider the workplace pratt. The most well known to all of us is Ricky Gervais as David Brent, the bumbling, self deluded manager in the UK tv show “The Office”. Who has never compared their boss to Ricky’s tv character, but the really serious issue is when you have this sort of Pratt who reports to you Well the first step is to define a fool. Yes we have all met them, worked with them and sometimes we have all been one. If you know you have acted like a fool that’s a start but a lot of people really don’t know when they are being a complete 22 carat unmitigated pratt.

So consider the workplace pratt. The most well known to all of us is Ricky Gervais as David Brent, the bumbling, self deluded manager in the UK tv show “The Office”. Who has never compared their boss to Ricky’s tv character, but the really serious issue is when you have this sort of Pratt who reports to you.

Well the first step is to define a fool. Yes we have all met them, worked with them and sometimes we have all been one. If you know you have acted like a fool that’s a start but a lot of people really don’t know when they are being a complete 22 carat unmitigated pratt.

So consider the workplace pratt. The most well known to all of us is Ricky Gervais as David Brent, the bumbling, self deluded manager in the UK tv show “The Office”. Who has never compared their boss to Ricky’s tv character, but the really serious issue is when you have this sort of Pratt who reports to you. Often they believe they are doing a great job, work under the misapprehension that their staff see them as born leaders and their boss thinks they are indispensable.

Bearing this in mind my thoughts went to an incident a few years back when I was Project Manager building a new municipal sewage treatment plant in Mumbai, India. We were working for a large civils company and the client was the equivalent of the local city council. I shall leave the whole Mumbai experience to a separate blog. The team consisted of me, two superintendents, six (yes six) QA inspectors, a project controller, numerous administrators and a dozen drivers, plus various assorted foremen. Everyone accept for me and one of the superintendents were local Indians. The superintendent in question was British and still though of India as the last refuge of the British Empire. I used to get the constant carping of “they do to do it like this in the UK” or “since we gave
them independence the place has gone to the dogs” Curious racist and xenophobic comments considering the basket case that the UK had become. But I digress.

This superintendent was technically very good, a hard worker, honest and loyal. But he was hopeless at managing people and even worse at managing upwards ie to me. In his eyes he was never wrong. The spec was wrong, the drawings were wrong, the consultants were d###heads and the client was off his trolley. All incorrect but not in his mind. This caused unbelievable tension and anyone who has worked in places like India know this attitude leads not to confrontation but to confusion and communication breakdown. I tried everything, the arm around the shoulder, the quiet word, even the threat of a one way ticket.

In the end he had to be convinced that he had to go. But the twist is, and the managing of the situation was, for him to convince himself he had to.

Well he’d did and went!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s