?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Lessons learned about work - Light One Candle

> Recent Entries
> Archive
> Friends
> Profile

Other Places My Fics Are Archived
FanFiction.Net
The CalSci Library (A Numb3rs Gen Archive)
The Invisible Man Virtual Seasons
The Sugar Quill

February 7th, 2008


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
03:57 pm - Lessons learned about work
Feel free to chime in if any of this corresponds to your own experience. Or if it's the opposite. *g*


1. Professional anything, especially if there is other human contact involved (phone or live), is kind of a sucky field for emotional people to work in. I mood-swing more at work than I ever do in the rest of my life; all it takes is someone refusing to help me, or being given the run-around by more than one person, or making one major mistake, and I'm (invisibly) floundering for some kind of level head. I've gotten pretty good at holding that stuff in, as well as judging how long I can go before I need to run away and hide for a few minutes.

But it's like Vulcan training! "I have no emotions. What are emotions?" Riiiight.

2. This is the professional standard for a reason. I recently had my very first burst of actually caring how something came out at my job; a guy whose check went astray badly needed the $$ and I sort of became his advocate to get that check recut in a timely fashion. Problem: though I crossed all the "t"s I knew about, there turned out to be one that I didn't. Result: error on check, even though it got to him this time. *sigh* Caring = mistakes?

3. You're supposed to be perfect at the job. Nobody is. But that's the standard. So there's always going to be a tug-of-war between one's self-esteem and the fact that you can never meet the gold standard. (aka: work is not where you look for validation, ever, of any kind.)


That's it for now, because the rest of the stuff in my brain is even less fun that those, and those are the ones I've been thinking about lately, anyway.
Current Location: work, work, work
Current Mood: tiredtired

(26 lit candles | Light a candle)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:brianrubin
Date:February 8th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
(Link)
Sounds like you need a new job...or a career change....or a shotgun...whichever works for you. ;)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 8th, 2008 01:28 am (UTC)
(Link)
Heh. I like that Dean icon a lot.

(and yes, I have been thinking along similar lines. Minus the shotgun. *g*)
[User Picture]
From:brianrubin
Date:February 8th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
(Link)
Aawww, but shotguns are so much fun...
[User Picture]
From:sarcasticval
Date:February 8th, 2008 06:32 am (UTC)
(Link)
Just remember, you promised I could be your Continuity Bitch ;)
[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:February 8th, 2008 12:25 am (UTC)
(Link)
Not my experience at all. But I don't like having to deal with people, it's too hard. So I'm glad I've managed to get myself into a position where I don't have to talk to strangers at work.

work is not where you look for validation, ever, of any kind

Absolutely.
[User Picture]
From:wneleh
Date:February 8th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
(Link)
Maybe it's an age thing? I spent my 20s in grad school, which is a lot like a regular job, and it was an emotional roller coaster. Now I'm happy just to get to the office (it's been a sick kid week.)

- Helen
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 8th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
(Link)
That hadn't even crossed my mind. Maybe age-related in that one just mellows out later? Or in that one is more likely to be working a job that is interesting to one, something one cares about?
[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:February 8th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
(Link)
An age thing? I doubt it. I think I'm less of an emotional person, full stop. As for mellowing with age... I find I've both mellowed and become less tolerant, depending on what the topic is. Maybe with age, one becomes more certain about what is important, and what is "small stuff".

And I do happen to be working in an interesting job that I care about -- but that can hurt too, when one is proud of one's work and one gets nothing but complaints from the client. Which is why I'm thankful that I haven't interacted with clients for the past seven or so years. Me a backroom girl.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 8th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
(Link)
work is not where you look for validation, ever, of any kind

Absolutely.


Which is sad, in a way; I spend 40 hours a week doing something I don't really care about, and don't even get the pleasure of being kick-ass at it and going home with a sense of satisfaction and/or having people tell me I'm good at it.

*shrug* At least I write good fanfic. *g*
[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:February 8th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)
(Link)
People (outside of fandom) will generally not tell you you are good at something. They are too busy worrying about their own problems, they aren't going to notice when you do things well, just when you make mistakes. That's simply normal, alas; they aren't bad people. Encouragement is a gift.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 8th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It's true. Still a bit sad; learning the balance between being a loner, being able to survive without the appreciation of others, and accepting the (often unexpected) gifts of friendship and love that do occur. And loving others regardless of which it is.

"If you only love those who love you, what credit is that to you?"
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:February 8th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
(Link)
I know exactly what you mean with #1. My last job routinely made me a wreck for this exact reason. Eventually I became a Vulcan out of self-defense.

And #3 is good to remember. Everyone makes mistakes. Lots and lots of them. If you make the same exact mistake over and over and over, something may be wrong. Other than that, though, I figure life goes on.

I'm not always as Zen as this makes me sound. Some days you just can't be Zen, you know? But it's a good standard policy to not let stuff bother you when you can help it. It helps me to re-direct the frustration over having made a mistake into an attempt at avoiding the same mistake in the future. That way, instead of sitting and beating myself up, I'm doing something more productive with my brain. This has a dual result of a) making me feel better and b) giving me something to say to whoever is annoyed at me for making the mistake. "I'm sorry" is great, but "I'm sorry, here's what I'm going to do to try and keep this from happening again" makes bosses happier, in my experience.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 8th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Some days you just can't be Zen, you know? But it's a good standard policy to not let stuff bother you when you can help it. It helps me to re-direct the frustration over having made a mistake into an attempt at avoiding the same mistake in the future.

Sound advice; and I do that when I can, for sure. Usually it takes me a few minutes to get my brain to go in that direction, though, and often I don't have the presence of mind to do it in front of the upset boss person. Improv = not my best skill. *g*

Accepting that I make mistakes, no matter how hard I try, is still hard for me. I've had plenty of practice (heh), but there's still a bit of me that wishes I could do it all well. Silly self.
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:February 8th, 2008 06:27 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Improv = not my best skill.

Same here (well, not under pressure, anyway). My last boss really did not get that e-mail would make these encounters go a lot more smoothly. Thankfully the current boss is a big fan of e-mail, so I'm able to pretend to be a professional adult with greater ease, heh.
[User Picture]
From:wneleh
Date:February 8th, 2008 12:44 am (UTC)
(Link)
But it's like Vulcan training! "I have no emotions. What are emotions?" Riiiight.

Yup, I remember that feeling when I was in my mid-20s. That I had to deny the part of me that my creativity came from. And without my creativity, what was I?

Mostly, I was a total goof outside of grad school to make up for having to be so constrained in the office.


[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 8th, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
(Link)
That I had to deny the part of me that my creativity came from. And without my creativity, what was I?

Interesting. Definitely like denying a part of myself (I feel things very strongly, always have, and it certainly contributes to my writing ability), but it's also like denying something fundamental to my view of life. In one of the ministries at my church, I spend time listening to people, encouraging them, telling them that it's okay to feel what they're feeling, that those emotions are valid (even if they are ashamed of them--if, say, they're angry at God).

Maybe I should try to be more of goof. I'm not that great at it (except around certain sorts of people *pokes kalquessa and <lj user="feliciakw"*).
[User Picture]
From:jd3000
Date:February 8th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
(Link)
I do feel some of this, although I think Semi-New Job, despite its stresses and deadlines is generally less informal.

Let me enthuse you by example: Two years ago (and this has passed into the realm of Office Legend), the Housing Manager and our tax accountant made a bet on how many residential permits the City would sell in a year. The Housing Manager lost. The tax accountant was good enough to share the penalty of losing the bet with him. The penalty was eating bugs in the City Council Chambers. :-D

And FTW: The video of the event is still on the City intranet.

-JD
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 8th, 2008 02:52 am (UTC)
(Link)
ROTFLOL!

Best office story ever.
[User Picture]
From:rose_in_shadow
Date:February 8th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC)
(Link)
1) Agreed. Especially in a field where you have contact with the public. In my first real job after graduation, I was a basically a customer rep type person for the Governor's Office. It was an awful job; people on the phone yelling, swearing, and blaming you for their problems. I'm doing a lot better at my current job where I have no interaction with the public at all *LOL*. But I still get emotional--though nowhere near as bad.

3) I'm so with you there. I feel stupid at my job nearly everyday. It doesn't help that my boss is this super-powered editor chick who not only knows how to do her job, but every one else's too. She makes me feel like an idiot almost every time we talk, though I'm sure it's not her intention. And in a field like publishing, there's so many freaking details to remember, it's impossible to get everything right. It's the reason manuscripts pass under so many eyes; we're human, we make mistakes. (See icon :D )
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 8th, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
(Link)
3) I'm so with you there. I feel stupid at my job nearly everyday.

Doesn't that suck? *g*

Publishing--that's a field I've thought about trying to get into, just because it's closer to writing (and I'm pretty good at proof-reading and related tasks). Guess I'd better embrace my mistake-prone humanity before I try, though.
[User Picture]
From:rose_in_shadow
Date:February 10th, 2008 01:18 am (UTC)
(Link)
Publishing--that's a field I've thought about trying to get into,

Try whenever you can. It's a hard industry to get into, even if the economy is good. Actually, I think my publishing company has branches even out in CA, so I could vouch for you if you wanted to apply :-).
[User Picture]
From:scionofgrace
Date:February 8th, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
(Link)
Actually, sounds like someone may be putting unnecessary pressure on you. It may be yourself, it may not. You might want to even re-evaluate the job itself. 'Cause no sane employer is gonna expect you to be perfect, and everyone ought to care about their job to some extent. I mean, I'm pretty "meh" about mine, but I and my coworkers do care about getting things done right.

Though no matter where I go, I experience run-around. I personally believe it's because people are lazy and don't want to appear so, so they obfuscate.

Just my opinion.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 8th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Actually, sounds like someone may be putting unnecessary pressure on you.

Yeah, that may in fact be myself. I do that. But I don't know that the job is helping, and I am reconsidering it (I've never meant to stay here forever anyway). I do care about getting the job done right, but not really the job itself (if that makes sense), which probably contributes to the pressure I feel/put on myself.
[User Picture]
From:keen_jean
Date:February 8th, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Hmm, you got me thinking.

1. Sure, it helps to not care too much. Almost universally, I've found.

2. Caring = mistakes? Not necessarily, it just makes it worse when something does go wrong. See #1. ;)

3. If anyone's telling you that you have to be perfect on the job, well, nuts to that, it's not true and they can't expect it. I like what you said: work is not where you look for validation, ever, of any kind. I have to think about that.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:February 9th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
(Link)
1. Hard to do. I see so much indifference in the world, it's tough not to try and compensate (just a little bit, just what I have) by caring, by letting things affect me.

2. Heh. Very good point. :-)

3. Yeah, I think I need to continue pondering that, as well. And the corollary: the right places to look for validation.

BTW, I don't think I've seen you comment on my LJ before, but your name looks familiar. Do I know you through billminus30?
[User Picture]
From:keen_jean
Date:February 9th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC)
(Link)
Sorry, I stumbled onto your post through Bill's friend page. He has some very interesting people watching him.

If you do find some better source of validation, do let us know. :)

> Go to Top
LiveJournal.com