Coattailing: How Not to Spill the Gravy Train

The Suburban Prof and I were sitting in a collaborative space tackling a wide variety of jobs this morning (everything from lesson plans to filling coffee reservoirs) when I saw an email come through from our data collection dude.

The Suburban Prof had stepped in and wrapped up a nasty little job that I had been covertly ignoring.  Embarrassed, I took time from Monument Valley and organizing K-Cups to thank him for letting me coattail on that one.  We laughed and began discussing effective coattailing and how not to upset the gravy train.

Over the last few months, both of us have had our coattails muddied (to mix metaphors) by a wide range of passengers.  Some we didn’t notice.  Some we didn’t mind.  Some we could not mind or notice.  But some, some seemed an additional wait, an added cumbrance, and finally something almost insidious.

The question was a nice distraction.  But it is a professional discussion that is never really addressed.  What constitutes collaborative coattailing?

Dr. Z

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