What Really Grinds my Gears : Last Minute Requests

Updated: Mar 23

You read my efficiency blog. If not (Link Here). Everything is planned with room for breakdowns throughout the day. The “Early is the new on time attitude is embraced” leaving room for long term improvements that will improve workflow. Those said workflow tasks are completed to make not just your job easier, but all the employee’s quality of work will be better because of said project improvement. A few good meetings, end of day tasks is done. The day was thoroughly conquered. Jacket on bags in hand then someone calls you or stops you at the door. Hey, I need to get this done and it is urgent, and the deadline is soon. To add to the drama, the delivery appears very frantic. Upon further examination following stick out like a sore thumb.

The request is never Urgent

The project though frantically delivered amounts to hardly anything that either cannot wait or that the person cannot complete alone.

The person knew about it the whole day and never said anything

The knowledge of this task was acquired early this morning leaving ample time to plan and execute the task to the requester’s liking. If the timing is the issue because the task must be done at a certain time advance knowledge is not only courteous but helpful. It is one thing if a there is a breakdown or may cause an actual business emergency.

• It disrespects my time.

This is especially true when those requests are commonplace. My perception of you is of one who is sloppy fails to budget their time and questions the quality of the given output. Basically, the perception changes to a slacker and serial procrastinator.

The why of such behavior can be attributed to many things. Some psychologists theorize that it may be a form of rebellion as a direct result of strict parenting. Other than a minor curiosity being satisfied the why does not really matter in this case as it causes an angry uproar for the person on the receiving end, whether visible or not.

How to deal one may ask.

Primal cave mentality may immediately flare up into a personal attack, but it is best not to take it as such. Even if it is to keep a cool head and not cause a bigger scene than the ludicrous request itself. People may need to be politely reminded that it is an unreasonable schedule and thus cannot be fulfilled. This applies especially to less than organized superiors.

Best to clarify what is needed and or wanted out of the task. Usually with actual “needs “duct tape solution is acceptable. If bells and whistles are requested reiterate the quality will undoubtedly suffer if the lack of notice presented. This leads into the next point

The rule of thumb is to evaluate the problem at hand and make the best judgment decisively. Those with experience on their belt will easily slip into this. Is it on fire or can it be better approached the next day with a rested pair of eyes?

Is this a reoccurring event? If the answer to this question is yes, a calm direct delivery will do wonders. Clearly outline the problem and offer a solution. This not only solves your problem it solves theirs and build rapport.

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