“Oh, that’s not my job,” is the sound of doom. Maybe not imminent doom, but doom indeed. It’s the magic inflection point when a company becomes too big (even if only psychologically) for any single employee to give a rat’s ass about job numero uno: Making shit work.

No profession is immune. You can have designers who oh-thats-not-my-job to get the JavaScript they wrote to work, programmers who cry for operations to make their slow code run on time, operations people who refuse to answer customer complaints from their network outage, and on and on. Once the mentality cements, everything is eventually someone else’s job, and they’re being a toad for inconveniencing you with it.

And besides, it’s easy to put it on somebody else, right? Everybody else’s job is easy!

Departmental hedges grow fast and tall if not trimmed with vigor. It’s the natural path unless you take steps to fight it.

That’s why, at 37signals, we all chip in when lots of customers have questions after a new product launch and customer support is overwhelmed. It’s why programmers will wake up in the middle of the night if a sql query tipped over and needs an urgent rewrite until faster servers can arrive.

Don’t let your company culture become one where certain people are too good to do the jobs that need doing. Making shit work is everyone’s job.