I am not in my dream job. I have many responsibilities, one of which is to negotiate contracts with competitors. This means that I am constantly pitted against other companies whose main agenda is to find a way to legitimately (or illegitimately) screw my company out of money. We are talking MILLIONS of dollars. MILLIONS!!! No pressure there. Sounds like fun, huh? To some of you sick people out there, it probably sounds appealing. To me, the conflict is unbearable and I don’t know how to deal with it other than to be super sweet to these barracudas. It’s unexplainable and I am pretty sure it’s some sort of instinctual defense mechanism to protect me from the hatred that often brews in these negotiations. I don’t know.
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I finally received a promotion that I worked really hard for and part of my reward is that I get to supervise my replacement. This would be excellent except that the guy is a whiner and takes no pride in his work. He believes that he should have a job where he doesn’t have to work really hard (translation: he takes 15 coffee breaks a day). In my opinion, he’s never been challenged before and he isn’t liking it at all. The extremely sad thing is that he is full of potential. He is analytical, intelligent, well-read, and trainable to some degree. He’s just a big insecure bonehead who can’t seem to help shooting himself in the foot. The hard thing is that I know where he’s coming from. The job, my old job, is complicated and full of obstacles.
To top it all off, I have been coaching him on some of his more offensive behavior. Not “offensive” as in he’s going to get fired, but “offensive” in the way that he just gives the wrong impression with his sarcasm and often ends up turning people off. While he has made tremendous strides in his communication skills, he is still not doing the work that needs to be done. Now I’m going to have to deal with him. UGH! I’m so adverse to conflict! I’m a non-confrontational person, introverted, and so insecure myself right now! How the good grief am I supposed to coach this idiot about actually doing his job and that sometimes doing your job means that you don’t get to socialize as much as you want (i.e., limit the coffee breaks)!?!
I love my bosses. They are all great people. I love most of the people I work with…most of the time. However, the head of our department has some really high and often unrealistic expectations. He demands so much of us. It’s hard to keep morale up when most people are looking for work elsewhere.
I feel like I’ve been here before. I haven’t, not this particular situation, but I feel sad. I feel tired and afraid and stupid and humiliated and so terribly sad. I feel like I screwed up by supporting the bonehead that works for me and championing him to others. I tried to support him when others were trying to bring him down because he is really a good guy at heart and he has potential to do good things. And he has been trying to improve on some things. He just needs SO MUCH tutoring on things that should be obvious to a thirty-eight year old man. Maybe I was arrogant enough to think I could help him change. He has worked really hard on some skills, but he remains a bonehead in some ways.
I am so non-confrontational that I often sugarcoat things to other people as well as to myself. Now I’m doubtful of my ability to lead anyone. I so want to just quit my job and stay home with the dogs and cats. Does the title “stay at home mom” apply if your kids are all the four-legged variety?
I don’t want to deal with the problems that lie ahead. I want to bury my head. I want to cry myself to sleep and wake up in a month when it’s all over. There’s more, but it “sucks beyond the telling of it”, as Buffy once said, so I won’t bore you. Thus ends my whining and complaining for the evening.
Quotes for the Working Week:
Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all.
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970), Conquest of Happiness (1930) ch. 5