E.G. (elainegrey) wrote,
E.G.
elainegrey

Work Trigger

"you should write this up in a document so the terms can be looked up and studied. i keep loosing the details and getting the words confused" -- S-E to me.


When i was managing, S-E became my nightmare. I'd managed him for years and knew he was very literalist, very argumentative, very sure he was right (until proven otherwise, which he would accept without any issue). (The temptation is to diagnose, but i won't.)

I didn't have any issue with that. However, in a team setting, over distance, his attitude looked like Attitude. And the more i "coached" him on "Attitude" the worse it got. We had a pretty bad spiral. I'm somewhat bitter at the folks who made a deal about his attitude. I suppose i should equally be bitter about the twenty some years before i managed him where his quirks were accepted -- "enabling" comes to mind -- except i think that it is GOOD to not force people into boxes. Gah.

Anyhow, i am used to a certain deflection behavior where he won't take responsibility for learning and remembering something: it's somebody else's job to document it for him so he doesn't have to learn it. Interestingly, this tends to be things he doesn't like, such as sorting out a configuration issue (compared to finding a bug in code). Here, the issue is the word "group" which has a special meaning at our organization (or, too many special meanings that are not easily disambiguated). When i remind folks that it has a special meaning, don't use it in the generic sense because of confusion, he always wants to redefine the organizational term and reserve the generic word as an English word.

Oh, would things have been much easier if someone, probably decades ago, had bopped someone else on the head and said, "Don't use such a generic term!" But we are stuck with it. Arguing that it was "wrong" doesn't change the usage in the organization.

Getting a "you should write something up so i won't be confused," just triggers all my frustration with the years he used this avoidance pattern.

And maybe i SHOULD have written something up, and so my procrastination self starts the whole sackcloth and ashes thing -- which actually looks more like "Eat all the sweets in the house." Not helping.

There's some other thing bothering me too: I got a call on my cell from my parent's home number. I couldn't reach it in time so i called back immediately. As it rang, i figured one of my parents was leaving a message. Finally, an answer. It was my mother who swore she had been on the phone to my sister. Meanwhile, i received a voicemail from my Dad. (He has their phone set up in curious ways using IP services: i wonder if it's possible for him to be calling out "apparently" from their home number while a call is active on that line.)

Mom's insistence that "that's not what happened" was also a bit of button pushing. I didn't argue: long learned lesson there as she has a very hard time viewing things from multiple POV.

[Wrote this Wednesday afternoon as i was thrashing to get back to work. Instead i ended up having many messages back and forth with S-E as he wrestled with concepts. I am thankful that he is wrestling: not wrestling and making assumptions causes many unintended circumstances.]

Tags: therapeutic writing
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