Comparison of the Week: Blue Jeans and Work Tasks

Okay, this might seem like a lame analogy, but sometimes blue jeans are like work tasks, in that even if they appear the same, no two are exactly alike.

Let’s start with where this occurred to me, which would be in the bathroom as I’m getting dressed in the morning. All of my jeans are the same size (no need to explain what the size is, but they’re bought to accommodate an overweight middle-aged dude). That is, they are all the same size numerically. 3X waist, 2X inseam. The challenge, of course, is that no two pairs of these items fit exactly the same.

Aside from this being a good argument for buying pants in a store rather than online, it is also a healthy reminder that any two tasks you might receive, however similar, should not be treated as identical, cookie-cutter activities. Yes, in the nature of things, we do often get similar assignments in our jobs, and we often use the same skills or sets of knowledge when performing them. However, each task has its own special requirements, including deadlines, content, audience, and customer. It’s important not to get too complacent.

Bottom line: unless you’re printing out multiple copies of the same document, you need to give each similar task enough individual attention to create the result your employer/customer wants. Like a pair of similarly numbered but differently fitting jeans, some situations can surprise you…and not in a good way.

About Bart Leahy

Freelance Technical Writer, Science Cheerleader Event & Membership Director, and an all-around nice guy. Here to help.
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