Sunday, September 26, 2010

always a work in progress

I was having, let's call it, a very honest conversation with my manager yesterday. The details are not especially relevant but during the course of the conversation, I realized I was being needlessly adversarial and somewhat of my classic smart-alecky self. If you don't know the smart-alecky me, first imagine high school. Now imagine the guy who thinks he knows everything (and is admittedly closer than you at that being true), moderately witty when it suits him, sharp-tongued, knows how to push other peoples' buttons and get under their skin, and is an unrepentant asshole. Now, dial it down a notch or two and that was me at my finest hours. Ok, after you've built whatever picture that creates for you in your mind, we still must alter it a bit more. This time, imagine that person in a "professional" setting (and I use quotes since nothing here is truly professional) and is skirting the edge of acceptable behavior for the "office" by being conversationally aggressive, playing coy or sharp as it suits him, and dragging up the past (though it's really the present situation as well in play). Ok, who knows what you've pictured, but whatever.

The real point of all this is that when it was all said and done, I was rather disappointed with myself. I have a choice. I can bury the hatchet and move on, by putting past issues behind me and accepting present flaws, or I can expect some sort of justice and proper consequence to occur from the past, for lack of a better word, idiocy. I should learn to accept my own advice. Things are what they are, fairness is a concept, not a reality, and what I lack the power to change, I should learn to view differently.


buickguy said...

If you recognize such a tendency during the middle of a conversation, change the whole tone of the conversation quickly by asking the other person how you can help them get out of the pickle, whatever that may be.

Anonymous said...

Treat people with respect regardless of what you think of them.

Brian said...

I did switch to asking what I could do to help them. Sadly, he did not know how to answer that question with specifics and fell back on general platitudes about how I should know how to do my job.

mauvais directeur said...

You could have treated him like a child or make him feel like a schmuck.

Or you could show him how good an underling you are by doing an excellent job. Nothing goads an insecure, nasty, insensitive, or incompetent boss like a job well done.

On the other hand if the boss steps on the wrong toes too often, you know the outcome.