Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Thou shalt (NOT) cast the first stone

I live by old values, but am well-disposed to change and realize that value systems evolve and evolution of values is not necessarily a bad thing. Therefore, though I was taught in school that "only s/he who is without sin may cast the first stone" (John 8:7), I realize that constructive criticism is a key ingredient to continuous improvement and hence, I truly believe that one need not be above board before pointing out another's shortcomings. Indeed, I will decry a poor user interface for instance, even I cannot design a good UI for nuts and likewise, I will willingly accept meaningful criticism on the quality of my cooking from someone who can't even tell whether the stove is on or off.

But there's a fine line there. There's a fine line between providing constructive criticism and ascending the throne of Vikramaditya and absolving oneself of all shortcomings while haughtily finding fault with all & sundry. And my blood comes to an instant boil - so help me God - when people knowingly, regularly cross that line.

Therefore, someone pulling people up for coming to meetings without preparing for or without reading background emails on the agenda and subject matter is fine even if that person himself hasn't read all the background information. But pulling people up when that person himself hasn't read all the background information under the pretext that it is okay - for whatever reason - for him to come ill-prepared is unacceptable. Likewise, pointing out non-compliance of some process by someone who is himself not fully compliant is okay, as long as that someone is trying to be compliant. But pointing out someone else's non-compliance while trying to dodge, trivialize or worse, justify one's own non-compliance is (grrr!) not acceptable.

Grow up, fellas!


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