Pottermore in the Workplace
There are a lot of ways to get to know someone, but none as effective as the sorting hat.
By Katie Sanchez, University of Texas at San Antonio
The magical talking hat is then placed on the head of every wizard to determine which house they will be placed in. At my job, the Great Hall is my office, I am Professor McGonagall and the sorting hat is Pottermore.
Every time someone new joins our team, I make them take the sorting hat quiz on Pottermore so I can see which house they would be placed in. The house they are assigned to depends on their characteristics. In the world of Harry Potter, there are four different houses: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff.
Here’s what I’ve learned to expect out of people based on what house they’re accepted into.
When people think of Gryffindor, chances are they’ll think of the famous trio–Harry, Ron and Hermione. Though they were in the same house, they all had different personalities, so it’s important to keep in mind that being in the same house doesn’t mean having the same personality.
People of this house tend to keep to themselves, but they get their work done. Gryffindors have courage, chivalry and bravery, all of which is reflected in their work.
The Gryffindors that I’ve worked with have been some of the nicest people I know. They always treat their coworkers and customers with respect and are great listeners.
Whenever a customer has a problem, the Gryffindor will listen to their entire story without interrupting.
Even if the customer is yelling, the Gryffindor remains calm and collected. They take in every detail the customer is telling them, then professionally respond.
After I train a Gryffindor, they jump right into things like they’ve been working at the job for years. They do anything without hesitation. Phone’s ringing? One ring and the phone is at the ear of the Gryffindor. Someone wants to chat with us through our online system? Boom. The Gryffindor is already typing a greeting to them. I’m always shocked with people in this house because they are so brave. Most of the other houses are nervous to plunge into the job right after training, but Gryffindors have the nerve to drop themselves right into the action.
I like to work with people in this house a lot because they’re usually funny and great to be around. Ravenclaws tend to be creative, witty and have individuality, so they’re the kind of people who bring the office to life. In my experience, the Ravenclaw coworkers I’ve had are huge jokesters and pranksters.
Once, while I was at work, I was using my computer to chat with a customer via our online system. Suddenly, the mouse icon on my screen started to move. Looking over to my mouse, I grew confused. I didn’t touch it at all, so I passed it off as a glitch. As I continued to chat with the costumer, the mouse moved again and opened a tab that was opened to our company’s Twitter page. I quickly moved back in my rolling chair, hands up in the air and said, “My mouse is possessed!” Immediately, my Ravenclaw friend was laughing and held up a wireless mouse for me to see.
Ravenclaws are seriously the best pranksters.
Not only are they fun to work with, but they are also effective, because they always come up with creative ways to go about completing tasks. Whenever everyone else is stuck thinking about how to solve an issue, the Ravenclaw is able to offer different ways to approach the situation.
The coworkers that I’ve had in this house are either a hit or miss, because historically their success in the workplace has depended on how they apply their characteristics. These people are determined, ambitious, cunning and resourceful, so they can learn to be a productive worker for the greater good, or use their characteristics to their own advantage.
The Slytherin who gave me issues would make our coworkers do his work and manipulate customers so he wouldn’t have to help them for long.
Whenever the phone rang, he would turn to the person next to him and say, “You can take the call. I’ll get the next one.”
The coworker would listen to the Slytherin, but when the phone would ring again, he would always make an excuse so he wouldn’t have to answer it. He was determined to minimize his work, so he used his cunning to convince others to do his work for him.
Not all Slytherins have this work ethic. In fact, most my coworkers who were placed in that house were actually pretty great. When interacting with difficult customers, Slytherins handled the situation with ease. Their resourceful attitude would make them effective and efficient. They push their fellow coworkers to be strong and are determined to strengthen the team.
My supervisor is actually a Slytherin, and she is an amazing leader. She is always pushing us to do our best and knows that we are capable of accomplishing all the goals she sets out for us. If we feel uncomfortable or unprepared for a specific task, she uses her determination to convince us that we are experienced and prepared enough to complete the assignment. She knows what we are capable of doing, and knows when we need that extra push in order to get things done. Her tactics always work.
I’ve never had problems with people who are sorted into this house, and I think that’s because Hufflepuffs are hardworking, dedicated and patient. In the work place, they tend to go above and beyond. These workers tend to answer the phone with ease, are able to multitask without breaking a sweat and offer to help their fellow coworkers when they are stressed out or need assistance.
When our supervisor asks something of a Hufflepuff, they exceed expectations. For example, we’re expected to answer all of our customers’ questions, which a Hufflepuff will do, but they will also connect with the customer on a personal level, remembering their name and their situation, and inviting them to keep in touch. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they’re the ones who have customers that email our supervisor about how great the customer service is.
Hufflepuffs believe in fair play, so they always ensure that work is being evenly distributed among all of the workers. They don’t want someone to become stressed out due to a large workload. For example, when we have multiple customers who would like to chat with us, the Hufflepuff will assign everyone an even amount of customers to assist. If there’s an uneven number, the Hufflepuff will take the extra person. In all, Hufflepuffs are the most considerate workers.
Although untraditional, knowing which Harry Potter house someone is in helps me know what to expect from them. Since I have worked with people in each of the houses, I am able to have an idea of what their work ethic will be. Even though it seems silly, the Harry Potter houses help in having an effective team because each house offers something unique to the group, thus making us stronger. Having a strong team means working closely with one another, which makes us a family.