Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Smart People Don't Follow Advice

I was talking to my president today and something unremarkable happened. He once again did not follow my advice.

Just to preface, my president is an incredibly smart and accomplished man. I have nothing but respect for him and like him in general. He does however get trapped by the Labrea Tar Pit I see smart people fall into all the time. He doesn't follow advice by a topical expert and yet still expects good results to follow.

Every 3 months he comes to me and asks why his mail is running so slow. I go up to his desk and run his email. I see anywhere between 6000 - 10000 messages in his inbox. I always tell him that he needs to move all but 500 - 1000 of these messages into folders. I further tell him that having that vast quantity of messages is slowing down everything he is trying to do with email. His mail client takes forever to come up. Why? The thousands of messages in his inbox.

His reply is always the same, "It didn't used to do that." He doesn't bother trying to take my advice. He just falls back upon his intelligence which tells him that computers are automata and should always work the same way. Never mind that he's installed 10 programs this month and that we've upgraded his computer 5 times since the moment when, "It didn't used to do that."

Personally, if I hired someone for their expertise I would hope that I would at least try to follow their advice. I hope I would but I probably wouldn't.

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