Odds and Evens

Being a good collaborator means pulling your weight, but the right weight. My colleague and I divided up two blocks of work into odd and even numbered tasks, and I emailed, “Give me the odds on this block and the evens on that one.” And then I pulled my weight. I did the tasks. Only, when we came back together my colleague was confused: why had I done the evens on this block and the odds on that one?

“Because that’s what we decided,” I answered, confidently.

Check the tape.

Sure enough, my email on his phone shows me saying “odds on this . . . evens on that.”

But it gets worse.

The pages I have produced are actually labeled at the top: odds this, even that. So I proposed who would do what, and then I set up my own work to do what I had personally proposed, but then I did the exact opposite work.

Pulling your weight isn’t worth much if it’s the wrong weight. To your collaborators, it might be better if you hadn’t pulled any weight at all. You might be dead weight.

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