How Did You Do?
Just last week, the dishwasher stopped working as well as it used to. Now we have to clean dishes a lot better before putting them in. And a few weeks ago, the same thing happened to the dryer. Sometimes we have to put clothes in two times before they dry now. And it’s not the first time I’ve seen this happen in the building. I don’t know why it’s happening exactly, maybe it is because they are old. But either way, one thing is for sure. I bet the janitor who fixed them has no idea.
Like I said, I bet the janitor who put these appliances in has no idea what happened. My guess is that despite the complaints he will continue to confidently take the same steps in every apartment here. And that makes sense right? After all he has no idea that they stopped working. We didn’t tell him. And he didn’t ask.
I propose that this same phenomenon happens in business school. MBAs do homework assignments but often don’t know how they did after they finish. Professors don’t “clearly” tell us and we certainly aren’t in a rush to ask. It happens a lot in group assignments too, as one person from the team often gets the homework back in their mailbox, and the rest of the group forgets to ask what grade the group got. And by forgets, I mean they often don’t care to ask.
It happens all the time in classes with problem sets, especially when those assignments are a small part of your grade. TAs put the graded homework in your mailbox and you never check your grade. It happens with midterms and finals too. Sometimes they sit there for weeks before you pick them up. Often times until the following quarter when things slow down.
And perhaps it makes sense. We’re all busy people. And it feels really good to finish and to get through the hard problems. So why ruin that feeling with the possibility of a poor grade?
Perhaps this is why consultants don’t always follow up after they are done consulting for a client. They get busy with other clients. Then they forget. And in some cases, they probably don’t want bad feedback.
On the other hand, this never happens to lawyers. One difference between lawyers and MBAs, is that law students always check their grades. And lawyers always ask clients how things went and if there is more work to be done.