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The Secret to Caring Enough to be Fired

“We’ve decided to let Steve go,” my customer informed me. “He just isn’t listening. And we don’t have any more time to waste on him raising the same concerns.”

Steve was a programming contractor who took his job seriously. Some programmers just did whatever they were told. Not Steve. Steve would raise concerns when he didn’t agree with the technical decisions that were made. If the customer didn’t agree, they would explain their position, and Steve would nod and seem to assent. Then, the next day, he would bring up the same issue again.

Steve probably thought he was doing the right thing by being persistent. Tenacity is a great virtue. However, if Steve really disagreed with the technical approach and was unable to reconcile himself to that approach, he should have asked to be reassigned. Bringing up the same issue over and over again doesn’t make you tenacious. It makes you obnoxious.

I’ve seen this time and again – people who continue to harp on issues that are not going to change. I’ve even done it myself sometimes. But it is a waste of time and effort. Unless you are bringing new arguments to the table, rehashing the same old concerns just makes you a broken record. No one wants to listen to that tune anymore.

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