Look lady, I get it. I’m new and that’s probably as much of a pain in the ass for you as it is for me. Sorry that I haven’t been here for 38 1/2 years, but there are things that you know that I need to know. I’m going to occasionally ask you a question about who to talk to or what something does. What I’m going to need you to do is not answer every question by rolling your eyes and making a giant production out of bringing me up to speed.
You see, some day, you are going to drop dead and someone, most likely me, is going to have to figure out what you have been up to and it’s going to be easier to do that if you’re just up front with me from the outset. Otherwise, once you’re gone I’ll have to go through your files, not find what I’m looking for, and then make my bones by telling everyone how jacked up all your stuff is. So, you see, cooperating with me now really saves us both a lot of trouble.
Oh, and one more thing… There’s a pretty good chance that I’m not going to do things the exact same way you do them. Different is ok as long as we get to the same answer. Despite your best efforts to convince me that things only work when your desk is piled high with paper copies of everything you’re working on or have worked on in the past six months, I’m ok keeping my desk clear and my files electronic. I promise when I need a hardcopy of something I’ll be able to find a printer all by myself.
Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of posts previously available on a now defunct website. They are appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.