A Story Of Life On Loosing Change (part 3)

Aatir Abdul Rauf


Aatir Abdul Rauf


Sep 26, 2022

A Story Of Life On Loosing Change (part 3)

Tales of Loose Change - Chapter 3

After episodes described in the first 2 chapters, I had developed this knee-jerk reaction to see if I was short of free cash when stepping out.

Once, I got off the lift of my apartment building & instinctively checked my wallet.

I discovered it was brimming with emptiness.

Funnily enough, that reminded me that I still needed to design a few empty states for the spec I was working on.

Worried, I trotted off to the nearest ATM.

I keyed in AED 500 hoping for 5 crisp bills to emerge.

However, when it dished out an unaccompanied 500 AED bill, I exhibited a reaction which was an acute mix of the facepalm, rolling eyes & anger emojis.

Disappointed, I made my way back to my apartment building.

Now, I was wondering which store to ask for change but I had to fight both my ego & shyness at the same time.

Asking a little shop at 9 am in the morning for change for an unwieldy AED 500 felt like another lesson in rejection waiting to happen.

I don't know what expression I was wearing but it was probably like I was trying to prioritize between two equally important user stories.

The security guard at the building reception noticed my anxiety.

Him: "What's wrong?"

Me: (snapping out of my hypnotic state) "Oh. Nothing. I was just wondering where I could get some change."

Him: "Do you want me to get it for you? I know the laundry guy next door."

The words felt like magic. He was like a web app monitoring my intentions without me even giving consent for cookies.

I handed the bill to the guard. He went out & promptly returned in 2 minutes with an assortment of 50 & 100 AED notes.

He presented it to me. It was my bouquet of salvation.

Finally, I had overcome my nemesis.

My product lessons:

1- Clarity of communication

Great communication as a PM trait doesn't mean using fine words & impeccable grammar.

It's the ability to create "shared understanding" in an efficient, unambiguous manner.

The ATM didn't do any wrong by issuing me a AED 500 bill. I just didn't make my intention explicit. It was my lack of foresight on how my requirement could potentially get misconstrued.

2- Likeability

It's true that Product Managers need to influence without authority.

But going into indefinite introspection thinking whether someone else will agree, disagree or like you is futile.

Why? Because you can never win them all. And you're job is to act for the best interest of the product.

3- Introversion in product

I'm an introvert. I don't like picking up a phone call especially from an unknown number.

But introversion should not be conflated with a preference to remain silent. It just means your vehicle of contribution isn't "being the loudest voice in the room".

4- Relationships

Need a warm intro to a potential prospect? Want to get some PM advice? Need to brainstorm about an impossible prioritization decision?

Sometimes all you need to do is ask or know someone who can help.

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