Recently I came across this
forum message where the author describes a conversation he had in Australia with
a recruiter who, at some point, said that:
"employers specifically instruct him not to send them
World of Warcraft players. He said there is a belief that WoW players cannot give
100% because their focus is elsewhere, their sleeping patterns are often not great, etc."
"He has been specifically asked to avoid WoW players."
This post is not about gaming. I'm not a gamer (just so you know, wink, wink) and
I'm not going to attempt
to get into behavioral patterns or stereotypes of gamers. I want to understand
the rationale behind a request like the quoted one.
with audiophile, or sports fanatic, or someone that is too
deeply consumed with other activities (e.g. parenting, church, small business on
the side, etc) and you get the same issue.
No one needs to be as passionate as you
As much as we would like everyone to be as passionate as we are for our
job (I'm assuming you are,) that doesn't represent the real situation in
the vast majority of the workplaces.
For many people, arguably most of them, what they do from 9 to 5 is
just their job. When they get home, they shut off or, more likely,
the better part of their day starts.
I have even talked about Wally before, which
represents a much more deteriorated stage.
The following quote from
posted by Charlie Poole
pretty much summarizes how I try to deal with this situation and how to recognize
brightness and passion even in someone that doesn't share the same thirst I have,
24h a day.
[Kurt]: To me the separation seems to between .net programmers of the
type that wouldn't consider letting their job interfere with
their leisure time by reading development books and blogs,
and taking part in mailing lists and user groups, or
programming at home, and those that do who are also likely to
follow most alt.net principles and practices (even if they
haven't heard of alt.net)
[Charlie]: I used to make that separation. Well, I still do, but without
the implied value judgement. IMO, folks have a right to a
life outside of the development world and the vast majority
of professional programmers don't live and breathe it the
way some of us do. Those folks need to be reached as well.
I did a gig a while back with a bunch of mainframe COBOL guys,
helping to re-invent agile techniques for their environment.
Most of them had families and wanted to go home to them at
the end of the day. But during the day, they wanted to learn
new things and do the best job possible. I respect their
choice - maybe it makes more sense than it does for me to be
typing this note in the wee hours of the morning. :-)
I think there is room for folks like that - there as to be,
since they seem to be the majority. We just have to figure
out how to reach them.
But it is still your job
Everything has a healthy limit, even gaming.
At the end of the day, you're (hopefully) still earning your pay
for the job you perform. If these other activities start taking
their toll on your focus and stamina to get your work done,
it's a sign you need to exercise some moderation or find a
job that allows you keep them or, better yet, make them your job.
Everything has a healthy limit, even the passion for your job.
Moderation applies here too. I'm in a constant struggle to manage my
time responsibly. Even if the activities are (somewhat) job-related,
many times they are not appropriate during billable time.
Some examples of things I avoid or moderate during work hours —
and leave them for before or after work:
- Twitter - a huge attention whore. I try not to have it on during the
day or at least disable the pop-up and minimize it, checking it only
when I have or need a break.
- IM - mine is usually very quiet. I use the busy status when needed
- Reading tech blogs or news - a few before work. If they pile up I'll
catch up at night
- Writing a blog post - any blog post worth reading takes time to be written. This
is my blog, so I'll have to use my time feed it.
- Mailing lists - I don't actually spend too much time on these. I only
monitor a handful of them and only one is fairly active. I check new
topics once or twice a day. Only read if sounds interesting.
So, can we hire gamers?
Although I can understand the rationale behind not hiring someone
that has an extreme, obsessive compulsion for playing video games,
which could prevent him/her from performing the job, I could
never agree with the implied blanket statement that all gamers
will become bad employees and should be avoided. Again, replace
01-08-2009 7:51 PM