UNWRITTEN RULE

fvfarm:

In the dining room there is a lovely television set which was provided by the auxiliary some time before I came to live here. At different times of the day it provides entertainment for the residents who want to sit and watch it.

There is an unwritten rule that the television is turned off during meal time. As a person who is not in the least interested in watching at all, if the thing is on when I arrive there, I automatically turn it off.

When I dared to turn it off one day as usual, two ladies, one a reasonably new arrival who probably was not aware of this rule and another here on respite leave for just a few weeks were not pleased and made their dissatisfaction obvious.

It certainly made me feel uncomfortable and real mean for turning it off.

What is the difference between me turning it off, or the nurse.

I’ve worked for many years as a programmer. One of the things I’ve learned is that senior programmers — that is, the most respected, experienced programmers — tend to take charge and do the right thing in situations where a junior programmer would merely offer a polite opinion and wait for consensus to emerge. Being willing to act in such a situation is almost the definition of what makes a senior programmer.

Senior programmers know when they are right and just deal with the situation. They don’t wait for consensus. Waiting for consensus wastes time.

Of course, there also are people who are pushy and just want to impose their will on others, and who take charge when it isn’t justified. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about being decisive and taking action when you know you are right, and you actually are correct about that.

Anyway, your story of turning off the television reminded me of that. You were being a senior programmer. Good for you.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/61500450671.

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