I just had this conversation. It is worthy of a shoplift, but too long for my normal pithy phrase grab. So I will relate it in its entirely. I can only imagine were I to incorporate this into a book, some editor would say it is entirely unrealistic and could never ever ever take place in reality and therefore is entirely unbelievable for fiction.
"Hi, can we we chat for a few minutes about the firewall rules I need to document? There are a number of line items designated as servers which don't seem to exist in any list I have and I don't know who I should assign them to for documenting," said Deb
"They're not really servers. You can call them servers for the purposes of this discussion but they aren't really. They are for security stuff," said IT Security Guy.
"Oh," said Deb, now a little confused. "So, YOU are the owner for purposes of documentation?"
"Yes, you could say that," replied IT Security Guy.
"So...you pulled the list of rules together for me..." said Deb.
"Yes," said IT Security Guy.
"And you sent the list to me so I can make sure I get the proper documentation?" asked Deb.
"Yeah," said IT Security Guy.
"And you sent an email to your boss saying you can't complete your tasks on this phase of the project until I provide said documentation?" asked Deb, her voice rising a bit in tone.
"Right," replied IT Security Guy.
"And the documentation I need, as it turns out, has to come from you?" asked Deb, now clearly disturbed.
"Uh, yes," responded IT Security Guy slowly.
"So, uh, why didn't you just fill that part in when you sent me the original file? Or, you know, let me know you were ultimately responsible for doing it so I didn't spend 4 days asking you for help. Or, you know, when I started asking you about the servers in question so I could identify who was responsible for the documentation, you might have said it was you..."
"I wasn't tasked with that," said IT Security Guy.
"You weren't tasked with that?" Deb parroted.
A long silence ensued during which Deb's face turned several apoplectic shades of puce which are clearly not in a normal face-color spectrum.
"So, you should send it all to my boss and ask him to task me with that, so I can get it added to my task list."
"Because you won't do it until you are tasked by him, but you WILL send him emails complaining that it isn't done...."
"Well, yeah. It's holding me up."
"Uh, sure. I'll do that," said Deb, showing all the restraint she could possibly muster. She turned and walked away muttering under her breath something that sounded suspiciously close to 'beat you to death with my stiletto' but which could not possibly be what she actually said, because that would be wrong.
The Final Snippet: I am not inconsistent. I just have an expanded repertoire of emotions.
Deb Answers: Lissa in Stoughton MA: Pick a mood, woman, and stick with it. Seriously.