What is the name of the rule of thumb which states that excellence on the job is its own punishment? In that no one will ever even offer to help, much less learn how to master what you are doing so well?
I’ve never heard that rule of thumb. It’s possible that it doesn’t have a name. But that’s good news for you, as you can acquire the same immortality as Laurence Peter, who wrote on the Peter Principle. It would help, though, if you wrote a book on the Ulfreida Principle.
If you google the rule you stated, the first hit will be this thread. The second one will be Wikipedia bio on Rush Limbaugh.
Anybody want to compose a pithy Ulfreida’s Law for me?
Surely I am not only one who has ever experienced this phenomenon? There’s a progression:
- general handwringing and despair that nothing is ever done about X.
- X seems simple enough to fix, you step in and get Solution to X going. But of course, it needs maintenance.
- So you maintain it, until you get kind of sick of it. Any volunteers to maintain this slick X fix?
- No, there aren’t. Because handwringing is a lot easier.
Even thinking about a whole book makes me want to go lie down with a towel over my face.
No, you’re not. I’ve been living it here for years.
However, I think I’ll let you call it Ulfreida’s Law and write the book yourself. That way, you’ll be known as the sole expert on the subject and it’ll be your problem from then on.
I’ll call it Heracles’ Law.
That’s actually perfect, due to Stigler’s Law.
It can be a form of security.
It’s not as pithy… it was phrased as advice, not a law… but a piece of “wisdom” I composed for myself decades ago and have used as cynical professional advice ever since then is “Be careful what you become good at, for you will find yourself doing it more and more.”
I think that’s related. And not a law.
I’d ask your friends in software development about the name for that phenomenon, since it describes most open source projects very well.
I’ll even ask on a dev board I frequent (not that I know f*ck all about coding) and let you know what I find out.
A similar sentiment worded much better than what I can remember states you should work hard enough to not get fired but half-ass it enough so you don’t finish ahead of schedule and get even more.
I’ve been in those situations. Afterwards, I thought to myself, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
Not quite the same but there is the term “performance punishment”. The better you are at something, fixing widgets for example, the more widgets you will be given to fix. To the point where you become an indispensable widget-fixer while those less talented move up to management positions. Or something like that.