When we were preparing to go to the Harry Potter studio in London, MrFodder and I made accounts on Pottermore and got sorted. He was sorted into Gryffindor, and I… Hufflepuff. I was disappointed initially, because when you mentioned Hufflepuff, likely only two characters come to mind: the honourable, yet bland Cedric Diggory, and the house founder, Helga Hufflepuff. I don’t even remember what Helga did that was so noteworthy – though I am not the devoutest of Harry Potter fans.
If you look at the description of the houses on the HP wiki:
Gryffindor values bravery, daring, nerve, and chivalry.
Hufflepuff values hard work, dedication, patience, loyalty, and fair play.
Ravenclaw values intelligence, knowledge, and wit.
Slytherin house values ambition, cunning and resourcefulness.
I guess Hufflepuff really does describe me best.
I was told about this site called LessWrong, which features a series of blog posts on the topic of rationality – which, as you all know, is a favourite topic of mine. I’ve bought the recommended book to read before starting to delve into the site, though it’s currently sitting behind a queue of about six books for me to read. However, one of the posts currently promoted on the site caught my eye: Project Hufflepuff: Planting the Flag.
It starts by talking about how Slytherin and Ravenclaw traits are often sought after and respected, but Hufflepuff traits are important to have in a community (which is something that they do cover in the Harry Potter books, as some characters will look down on Hufflepuffs, but I think it’s Dumbledore who says that the qualities of each house contribute in a different way).
The author doesn’t explain how such a thing will happen, and this is the first of the posts they plan to write on the topic after getting some feedback from the the community. The top voted reply questions whether it’s possible to cultivate such a culture, when you have “parasites” in the community, which will be happy to suck up all the goodwill of the Hufflepuffs of the world.
I constantly get asked why I keep making farewell videos for the people I’ve worked with. My response is always the same: I really enjoyed working with them, and they played an important part in my life. I’ve been told that these videos (and some other “quirky” things that I do) are the highlights of my former co-workers’ year, and something they really miss about not having me around.
I’m actually trying to stop myself from making these videos for my former co-workers because I feel like I am being exploited a little now. Team morale is at an all-time low, for reasons that I can’t discuss. These little things that I do help keep people engaged, and I don’t mind doing them, because the effort I put in is dwarfed by the enjoyment from the people around me. However, I am starting to feel some indirect pressure to keep doing these things so that the underlying morale issues don’t have to be addressed.
On one hand, I don’t mind doing it, and I like these people and I want them to be happy. On the other hand, if I keep them at a certain level of happiness, they’ll never become unhappy enough to goad action into addressing the real issues. I feel exploited, and there aren’t many things that I hate, but I really hate feeling manipulated into doing something that I wouldn’t have done if I had known all the facts upfront.
I honestly don’t know what the solution is, and if anyone has any ideas, I am open to hearing them. Until then, I’ll just keep Hufflepuffing along – though maybe trying a bit harder to fly under the radar.