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Created Sep 15, 2015
What would you like to do?

(this is a long message, mostly a story and some bg on my need for ack, reading is optional and no acking necessary)

as an interesting aside, I thought I'd give you a bit of the background from where the need of acking comes from.

it is part of my responsibilities to make sure you have proper direction, and in order to do this we need to be in sync. acks should not only be sent to me, it is the way we as a team can get some feedback that our communication has been received. it is the only way we can guarantee we're in sync.

you see it in information systems, queues need ack, clients need response codes, etc. some systems don't need feedback, and are fire and forget, but in general we all need some sort of sign to know wheter our message was clear or not.

my need for ack comes from working in kitchens for very long, outside of the ER, i cant imagine any environment more critical than serving food to 300 hungry people ordering from a 30 item menu, keeping time under 25 minutes with a team of 5. the key here is communication. imagine the following scenario.

  • 2 ny strip steaks, 1 medium, 1 rare (3-5 mins one side, flip 2-3 other, 2 mins in oven, rest for 5 -> medium, entree station)
  • 1 branzino (5 mins, fish station)
  • 1 lobster risotto (12 mins, entree )

w/o ack

john fires the steak, 3 mins later fires the risotto, 7 mins later yells "fire branzino". buritica doesn't ack, cause he's dealing with a red snapper that was sent back from another table. 5 mins later, john puts his beautiful steak and perfecly done risotto on the window. fish is not ready. 3 mins later buritica brings fish, the rare steak is now medium, the medium is dry and the risotto is chewy. john, start all over again pls, this is a high end restaurant, i'm not paying $50 for an overcooked steak, phil can forget about his tip now.

w ack

john yells "fire branzino", buritica says "yes chef, 8 mins". here john now knows buritica has a problem, he lowers heat in risotto, pulls the steaks from the oven and syncs back 3 mins later. table has all food in 16 mins, cause phil is super fast, tip is 30% on such good service, they get to move to the next table, and an the restaurant has 10% more throughput and less mistakes.

we're a remote team. communication is 100x more important, and I'll keep annoying you so you ack. my question is, if you don't ack me and I'm "the boss", are you acking your teamates? are you giving them feedback? are you making their lives easier and are they happier at work because of you?

some food for thought, and some extra reading if you're so inclined.

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