Monday, July 30, 2012

Hierarchical Hand-me-downs

It's strange when you're sitting at work and hear someone else say something that sounds remarkably like something you would say.

About a year ago, when I was moved into a full-time editorial position (mostly) at work, I went through the hiring process and hired my replacement. Once she was on staff, it was up to me to also train her. Which I did.

And, since I was actually a teacher once upon a time, as well as having been a manager of various staffs along the way, I think I did a pretty good job of the training. I used some key points and worked from them, elaborating each day until the "new me" knew what was going on and could take over. (A far cry from when I started and my "trainer" handed me a packet and said "Everything you need to know should be in there. Let me know if you have any big problems.")

Just a couple of weeks ago, my replacement got a (rather sudden) promotion when someone else left the company. So last week she got to go through her own replacement's interview/hiring process. The second person conducting the interviews actually asked me if I had any of my old materials, so I sent her a list of questions I had used last year. Their interviews went quickly, and the new person started part-time today.

As luck would have it, the new person was being trained in within earshot of my desk, today, and it was funny how many times my name came up. Both as "If you have any questions, Robert can also answer them," and as "When I was learning this, Robert told me..." topics.

I guess if you have kids, and then they have kids, you probably hear them passing on advice and commentary from one generation to the next. But, well, I'm not on that track. So it was kind of cool to hear my words of "wisdom" being passed on to a new "generation" at work.

Or at least I hope it's a good thing. For all I know, I could have only been hearing the good parts, and the rest of the conversation might have been "...but whatever you do don't do it that way."

Of course, that is probably also how some families pass on stories, too.

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