Gringa Frijolera

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What We Learn When The Boss Is Gone

I'm sort of famous among my oldest, closest friends and within the Seoane-Sair family as being the most vocal about the lack of "competence" in the world. I used to be obsessed with it.

I went to college in the South which was one of the stupidest yet most intelligent things I've done in my life (for those who know me personally you know why). I would call my mother out in California on a daily basis just RAGING about the incompetence of "Dug" the local Kroger's check out guy, or Rebecca in the business office who still couldn't get my bills straight. It caused a lot of migraines and indigestion and just way too much bitching.

In El Salvador, incompetence and efficiency is at an all time low and although I've always known that it just doesn't quite bother me as much anymore.

For the last month or so my two bosses have been out of the office and even out of the country. During that time I was sort of appointed "supervisor" even thought I'm the newest on staff and most likely because I was the only American around (that topic could be a whole other blog).

What surprised me was how proactive and COMPETENT my coworkers were in the absence of our bosses. Instead of sitting back and going through the motions, they took charge, took ownership and got creative. Working here was like being in the twilight zone.

So I've come to a new understanding about competence...

Even if the whole friggin' culture is back asswards and a week late, even if mediocrity is the norm, all you gotta do is empower some folks, let them do their thing and watch the competency meter blow right up.

I hope I remember that lesson if I'm ever in charge anywhere again. That's a good one.

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