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10The Alienist

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I don’t want to go to work today. I am sitting here at 6am (started at 5:30am) reading rants and articles (“Offering Critique” and “I’m not your mother!” – both very enjoyable!) and I don’t want to leave for work.

I usually find so much joy in parsing through the psyche of others, as well as my own psyche, and figuring out what needs to be fixed. Why do I do what I do? Why do the people around me do what they do? Great and fun questions! They say that psychology majors are really just looking to solve their own problems. I started out majoring in psychology (Major number one of seven) and that would have been true for me.

Here's the discomforting part. I don't want to talk about it anymore. I don't want to even THINK about why anyone does what they do or what they are feeling or what needs to be improved. I am SICK of it. Why?

If you remember, I wrote a rant a while back about my direct report (one of two) that is 38 years old or so and is so incredibly lost. He's been a huge pain and I had to confront him with his behavior (who likes being told that they are doing a sucky job?) and basically tell him to straighten up or get out.

The prologue to this is that he was doing really well at mid-year reviews and I ranked him high. He was Number Three out of all his peers of the same level (about 20 people). I didn’t agree with his number when we laid it out but my supervisor said to leave it alone. The ranking system we use is totally bogus. Now my peers are out to get my direct report because they think he is undeserving of his Number Three slot. I defended him (I mean, DEFENDED, because there was some tough opposition) and after all that he slides back into old habits and starts screwing up after we finish the ranking (I’m not entirely convinced this is coincidence). Ugh!

I've never been a supervisor before, so I spent a lot of time talking to (supervisor) people about it in order to get some "coaching" on the best way to deal with the situation. It is tough! I mean, I've always been "bossy", but it's not the same thing at all as being a supervisor! It's a huge responsibility to be in charge of someone's career (or responsible for coaching them) and to also be in charge of making sure they are doing their job. It isn't about telling someone what to do, but about motivating, leading, inspiring, and all that crap they tout in the Management section of the bookstore. *sigh*

My direct report is doing better, but he still has a ways to go. Some of the basic stuff about human interaction just escapes him entirely. It's amazing to me that I can enter a situation and smooth things over with people while he can enter the same situation and cause a ton of animosity. I am not without fault, (Whoa, do I have faults!), mind you, but just certain things that come naturally to me are so hard for him. What's more, one of my co-workers (at the same level as me) is out to see that my guy is ranked lower than Number Three. That’s okay, but don’t actively try to put the guy in bad situations and set him up to fail!

Our workplace environment has tanked in the last year so that our entire group is looking for work elsewhere. I ran into a friend that escaped our workgroup and she said that in her new group it is just a “different set of evils”.

Now, I'm just tired of it. I’m tired of thinking about personalities, coaching, mentoring, how best to communicate with this or that person. I never want to take another personality test again!! That’s saying a lot for me!

*sigh* Wait, did I sigh already today?

Oh well, as my good friend Pinky used to say, “This too shall pass.”

Thanks for letting me get that out!

When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane.
Hermann Hesse

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The following comments are for "Bossy"
by Shel

That was the definition of a rant!

The corporate world is full of insanity. They gave this guy the ranking for a reason; what could have been the reason? Is there someone above you protecting him? Can you find out where his 'power base' or 'safety net' is? That could give you great insights into the problem at least with this individual.

( Posted by: The Alienist [Member] On: November 17, 2004 )

I'm wondering whether he really wants to be there. It doesn't sound like he cares all that much about his job. Perhaps he's miserable. I've been in situations like this before, on both sides of the fence, and in my experience personal unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and the like have a lot to do with it.

Just my thoughts! I could be completely wrong, as cases differ!

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: November 17, 2004 )

I must say...
...every psych major I ever knew had some things to hash out. No exceptions.

That's not to say that they weren't functional or productive or helpful people, it just means that 'it takes one to know one', that is, people with issues. :0

I know a guy who works in the educational system here in Philly who was a psych major, and a good one. However he's got some really bizarre idiosyncrasies. One of the least private ones, which I'll share with you here, was that he refused to listen to ANY other music in his car except the '10 from 6' compilation from the band Bad Company. He played that tape until it was nothing but white noise. No other music could be anything but an annoyance to him. All other music could disappear except the songs on that tape. One more thing: in regard to animals, his attitude was "we should just keep all the animals we need to keep the ecosystem going and just burn the rest."

What made him like that? I'm not certain he's ever solved these problems.

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: November 19, 2004 )

Demeter and Alienist: I find it fascinating that people who help others with their internal demons so often have demons they are unable to slay themselves. On the other hand, I have a friend who is OCD and who survived physical and verbal parental abuse and a slew of other misfortunes but she still manages to be the strongest and one of the healthiest crazy people that I know.

I like hearing other people's quirks. Makes me feel not so alone. I have my own quirks that my husband finds insane. Like every time I walk into my boss's office, I have to arrange both his visitor chairs so that they are parallel to each other and pushed up against the desk. I don't know why. He thinks it is funny, luckily.

Thanks for the feedback on my rant! I am in love with ranting and I would have gone crazier without this outlet!

Wouldn't it be a good thread to share stories of crazy people we've known? See who has the craziest stories? Hmmm...


( Posted by: Shel [Member] On: November 19, 2004 )

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