Friday, 13 September 2013

The Harrison Theory of Mediocrity

It would appear that the 'Harrison Theory of Mediocrity' is gathering momentum, with my own colleagues starting to pass my advice on to their own friends. I shall soon be running seminars on it at this rate, but that would rather defeat the object of the whole philosophy. For those of you who missed my post on it earlier in the year it goes something like this.

I am going to let you into the secret of a peaceful existence; mediocrity. I have spent much of my adult life perfecting the art of mediocrity and I like to think I am fairly good at it. Let me explain why being mediocre is the key to happiness, taking your working life as an example. I am sure you will agree that if you are bad at your job then you are in line for all manner of grief, although not if your first name is Michael and your surname Gove. Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of complaints from line managers, stern emails from the boss and uncomfortable appraisal meetings, so it doesn't pay to be too shabby.
This reminds me of a story I heard about a colleague of a friend who was having their annual performance management interview. He came out of the meeting fairly pleased with the way it had gone, saying that his manager had complimented him on the improvement in his work. The others in the office were mildly surprised as this individual was renowned for being lazy and incompetent. "So, what exactly did he say then?", one co-worker asked. "He said I used to be f****** sh*t, but now I'm just sh*t", came the reply.
However, if you are too good at what you do then people expect a lot of you and give you more to do. Some of my colleagues are constantly snowed under by requests to run a course, go to a meeting, organise an event. Why? Because they are too good at their job. I do try to give them the benefit of my wisdom but they are too busy answering the 150 emails they have received that morning to listen to me.
So, for now I shall endeavour to tread the line of least resistance and happily continue in my own little world with my delusions of adequacy.

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