Career

My Boss is Creating Drama 

So I have a new-ish boss, Dave. The one he replaced, Sally, was a company veteran and knows everything. Dave, however, is new to the company and industry and is trying to catch up. 

A few months ago, he said that my coworker, Maggie, complained to him that I bother her too much with questions to which I already should know the answers.

So from there, I hardly said a peep to Maggie or to anyone.  Sometimes stressing about if I should already know the answer or how I would look if I did ask someone. 

Ugh!

I never said anything to Maggie, didn’t want to ruffle any more feathers.

But I was SEETHING. GRRRRRRRRRR….

Well, yesterday Maggie tendered her resignation and because she’s going to a competitor, she was forced out today. So, I figured “what the hell?” and called her to get the scoop. 

Turns out, she didn’t say that exactly.  Maggie is very senior so Dave would ask her how Rex is doing. So she mentioned to him that I was asking her questions but already knew the answers.

That’s it. 

Mother. 

Forker. (sic)

So my boss’ misinterpretation not only caused me undue stress but caused a rift between me and Maggie. AND he used that to give me a negative review. 

Son… of a batch! (sic)

Turns out, Maggie has gripes about Dave too. She’s bled for the company for five years and this year especially and in her review he wrote only four sentences with some negative impressions.  Meanwhile, Maggie has been a rock star and he could have written a glowing chapter on her if he spoke to the previous boss, Sally, who is still at the company. Now, I don’t know if he did or he didn’t, but where there’s NO smoke, there’s NO fire.

Perhaps he just wanted to instill a little “fear off the boss” in me to drive me forward. Which, if he did, it kind of worked. But if not, then he’s a jackass.

Coincidences, Friends, TV

The A-Team Coincidence

So today at work I had a great call with a co-worker who’s helping me with a project. At the end, I told him “I love it when a plan comes together” and he recognized it as a line from the TV show, The A-Team.

We both had a good laugh. 

Later, in Facebook, my friend Bob posts this picture from his neighborhood, saying that the A-Team must be in his town:

So naturally, a FB friend of his commented:

COIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINCIDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENCE!!!!!!!

family, Food

The Meatball Identity

So today is my last day at my parents house in Florida, so mom made her signature meatballs and I made my signature homemade cavatelli pasta:

They’re both pretty exceptional. Mom’s meatballs are legendary in my family and they have been for 30 years. 

Enter: my cousin Bill.

Bill is a foodie- watches cooking shows, cooks a ton himself, some very fancy meals.  He knows his stuff. And he’s a knowitall in general. He comes over my parents fairly often and they bond over food. 

So he and Mrs Bill came over today to join in the meal and to help make it, or at least help me make the pasta (although to be honest we made WAY too much.)

Anyway, as Bill was helping in the kitchen, he was mentioning to mom that he has a meatball technique that takes longer to cook and he actually thinks his meatballs are even better than mom’s.

(GASP) WHAT DID HE SAY?!?!

As he said it, everything was fine. BUT after they left… my parents spoke as if he told them that 2+2=giraffe. Or worse, that he stripped her of her gold medal from the 1000 meter Meatball Cooking event in the Food Olympics. 

Everybody in the family knows that mom’s meatballs sit atop the Meatball pyramid. Anything else does not compute… does not compute… does not compute… (smoke coming out of mom’s ears.)

Personally, I said “big deal, he likes his own meatball better than yours.”

Now my mom is very sensitive in her old age, this is true. I had not realized that this shook her to her very foundation. I’m sure Bill didn’t mean anything by it, but in her eyes, this was her domain and couldn’t he just give the old lady her due? It’s one of the only things she’s really proud of. As I see it, she’s 73 but still needs to feel like she has purpose and value. She does food really well. It’s really tied to her identity. It’s like telling Michael Jordan that he actually has six championship rings in tossing crumpled paper in the trash basket.

I know we’re obsessed with being the best in the USA, and his might be phenomenal but without realizing it, he went right for the jugular.

Oh well, more leftovers for me. 

Career

Unrequested Help can be Annoying, and I Have to Put Up with it Since I Earned It

I’ve blogged before about two coworkers complaining to our boss about my asking them questions to which I should already know. And I’ve since stressed whenever I’ve had a question, concerned that I needed to think more about solving it myself before I ask, or if I really should be asking somebody and am just wasting time trying to figure it out.

And last Monday, I hit a roadblock and had to reach out to my coworker Sabrina for help.  Turns out, it was an easy answer that is normally in front of my face on a website I go to a lot, but since I never answer this type of inquiry, I’ve become blind to it on the screen. 

Ugh.

Then, on Friday, an inquiry came in and I tagged it that I’d answer it. As I’m writing up the answer… Sabrina sent me an IM, telling how to handle it. I didn’t ask for help, she just volunteered. 

It’s annoying for a few reasons: 

-She thought I couldn’t handle this easy situation too (which, I believe, us a common reaction to unrequested help, like an intrusion.)

-I’ve earned that reputation in her mind and probably other colleagues too. Damn.

I am not happy about this. This is the bed I made, now I have to sleep in it. The only thing to do at this point is do good work consistently and fix my reputation.

Work it. Work it. Work it.

family, fun

I am such a loser

So I’m visiting my parents for 7 days. Today, my stepfather, Jim, told me an ugly thing he thinks about the family he married into 30 years ago:

We are all tremendous losers.

Excuse me, bigguy?

“You, your mother, your brother, your sister… you are constantly losing things, misplacing them.”

You know what, he’s right. I’m continually, occasionally misplacing things like my keys, wallet, phone, etc. I had not realized that was a family thing that we all do.

I mean, my mom is legendary for either misplacing or worrying about misplacing her pocketbook. She actually sleepwalks looking for it. It’s classic mom. And Jim, God bless him, had been handling it for 30 years. She’s now 73, he’s 80 and it still goes on. Too funny, those two.

Hi.  My name is Rex. And I’m a Loser.

Money

Uncle Sam cuts my debt by 1/4

Yes! I got my tax return from my accountant.  I’m getting back $3,200 in total! I really had no idea how much I would get back.  I suspected a good amount since I only worked half of 2016 so I’m in a lower bracket, if that’s how that works. 

Anyway, I’m putting it all towards my debt, much to my lady Mona’s chagrin. To be clear, she’s not pushing me hard to spend on her/us, but I can tell she’s used to a higher lifestyle and I can’t participate in it at close to that level yet. She’d love to go on vacation with me.  I’d love to too. I CAN do it but that puts my getting debt free down a way. And this is weighing me down.  I need to be responsible and budget well, tighten the belt and beat this thing. 

Life, Success

I Create Stress

There. I said it.

I listened to Tony Robbins’ tapes back when they WERE tapes. I think around 1995. I was up late at night and back then his infomercials could always be seen at that time. So I bought the tapes. 

I remember he spoke about a “Success Thermostat” that we all have, a level of success that we’re comfortable at and that we’ll sabatoge ourselves if we get really cookin past that level so we stay there at x level. 

I would think there are many factors that go into this subconscious level we have for ourselves. My theory is that is all tied to self worth and what I believe I’m able to do. 

So at work lately, I’ve found myself getting easily stressed about things that I thought were tough and getting kinda paralyzed to the point where during the day I subconsciously arrange it so I get swamped by easy work that is low hanging fruit and at night I regret not working on the hard stuff and tend to work late catching up. Or sometimes it doesn’t get done at night, gets pushed to the next day and the cycle begins again and things might gets pushed days down the line.  It they might even get forgotten and buried.

This has happened throughout my career. 

I can see how this can be the Success Thermostat that I have set for myself.  I create this stress, procrastinate and catch up as opposed to just doing the hard stuff FIRST.

I need to “eat the frog” early, as my previous boss told me once. Do the tough thing first. 

Ok, I’ll be honest. I’ve stressed a lot most my life. Things seem difficult, I get paralyzed, then I play catch up if I can. 

Am I immature or just lacking confidence? Am I lazy or playing dumb in order to avoid responsibility and accountability in life? Am I unable to focus or unwilling? Any one of those sucks. 

Well, there’s nothing I can do about the past. I do know that turning the boat atound is easier than it seems. 

Tony says to get role models. Success leaves clues. Find out what makes people successful and put that into practice. 

That’s one step. I have people in my life that are good business and career role models. 

I need to focus on success and get over how afraid I am by high responsibility. I need to focus on strength, confidence, ambition, drive, focus. High value, abundance, fortune. Replace the negative thoughts with positive and keep pushing myself to where I CONSCIOUSLY want to go.