Career

Needing to stop my nervous a pattern of failure aka Integrity Ninja

So at work I missed an email from a client.  Then he followed up yesterday and I missed that too. Ok, I didn’t miss them. I saw them, I read them and got nervous.  They were about something I couldn’t do and I feel bad about not being able to do it yet and I had to ask my coworker for help. 

The coworker was out the day it came in and I conveniently forgot to follow up, allowing a rush of work to distract me. If I can’t be honest on an anonymous blog, where can I? That’s what really happened. 

So I finally reached out to the client but it was too late. He got what he needed from someone else at my company. 

On its own, it’s not awful. But I’ve been noticing I’ve had to apologize regularly lately. If my boss notices, it won’t be good.  If not now then at my next review. 

And to be honest, this is a repetitive thing in my career. I’ll get a task, get nervous by it, my mind worries, I get confused and caught up, I procrastinate, I get distracted, things don’t get done, at some point it gets noticed or someone will definitely notice so I finally act on it and have to make some kind of apology.

The way my coworkers see me is probably NOT busy or even overwhelmed or anxious… they probably just think I’m irresponsible.

That… fucking… sucks. 

Yes, I realize that those are not characteristics of a good employee. When things are easy, I’m great. When things get difficult, or seem difficult anyway… I’ll get nervous, confused, will panic, shut down, then apologize and have to catch up. 

This is NOT how a successful person operates. I’m not proud of this. 

Truth be told, this is how I’ve always operated, since I was a kid. The typical procrastination thing. Which means I haven’t really grown up. 

That sucks. 

Why do I do it?  Whether it’s out of laziness, or lack of confidence/ worth, or low self esteem, or that’s the example I picked up from my parents, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. 

It’s time to put my Man Pants on.  

I’m not writing this to beat myself up. I’m writing this to make a change. 

I’m done with that behavior. I AM going to put that aside, and let something great take its place. I AM going to succeed in life. There are many things I need to improve on, this is one of them that I will.

Pride is vital and I need some. People will say that pride comes first to do great things, and some may say that I need great things to be proud of. It’s probably both. 

I’m going to up my level of integrity. There are always levels above current levels but one just has to own up to what’s so. And I’m doing that. That’s what’s so. 

Every day is a new opportunity to be better, and I’m going to take that opportunity. I’m going to start with a list of all the things I need to catch up on, and bang them out until I’m done. 

Integrity Ninja. I know it sounds corny but I need a term to associate with it to help remind me. 

There. 

Have a good night all.

Career

Tell Me What to Write or How to Write It, But NOT BOTH

Have you ever come across these people who tell you what to do and how to do it? I have one at work. Ugh it’s annoying.  She’s not a manager of mine.  She’s a peer with 3 months of seniority over me. 

Granted, she picked up the job much quicker than I did, she has a much better facility with it. Maybe because she’s 20 years younger than I am and has many more brain cells (she’s not a party-er.)

Anyway, she was giving me some help “Rex, just tell the client that they have to do x, y, z… just say ‘hey Bob, thank you for reaching out, I can help you with that, just do x, y and z.'”

In the words of Peter Griffin “that grinds my gears.” Why? Because she told me what to say AND how to say it. I’m not going to remember the details of the quoted things you say to tell me. Have faith in me that I can explain concepts in a professional manner in my own words. Otherwise, I’d need to write down the specific dialog and that makes me look and feel like an idiot, like I need to be spoon fed. 

Perhaps that’s how she sees me. Or perhaps her way. After 9 months of working with her, I do think it’s her way. Then again she has a history of telling my boss things about me that she really should just tell me. 
Ugh.

Ah, work. 

Career

I Have a Call with my Boss’ Boss Tomorrow

So my boss’ boss booked a half hour with me tomorrow. “My only agenda item is to see how you’re doing” 

Now, it’s NOT coincidental that she booked time with me now. Last week, I told my boss that I am a 6 out of 10 in overall job satisfaction lately because we’re short-staffed, working frantically and that I’m hurrying to learn more things before others leave the company. And I’m stressed about a project that I’m trying to get complete has hit snag after snag because IT can’t do everything I thought they could do and because I could have planned better to get clear on everything early in the process.

No, the timing is NOT coincidental. 

Now, my therapist says that I cannot, in any way, complain to my boss’ boss, about being stressed, swamped or anything like that. Management doesn’t want to hear it. It is not in my best interest to have them see me as a problem child. This could just be her checking in with me to help or it could be a check in to build a case to let me go.

“(Smile) I’m enjoying the challenges of learning so much quickly and pitching in. And my boss is great.” That’s the general idea of what my part of the call should sound like, per my therapist. 

I gotta say, I didn’t see it at first but I do agree with her. Don’t show my boss’ boss weakness. Don’t give her any ammunition to use against me. No manager wants a “case” on their staff. 

“I’m a company man, ma’am!”

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.

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.

Breakthrough, Career

Needing Grace and Receiving It

So I have a side job of taking external pictures of real estate. Not places that are up for sale, a listings company just wants to keep updating what everything in an area looks like. 

One of the challenges is the sun.  I can’t shoot directly into it obviously, though I CAN block it with my clipboard as long as I’m not impeding the view on the building I’m shooting. 

Usually, I’m assigned to long stretches along entire streets: I shoot all houses on one side, then I shoot the same stretch but the other side. If the sides face east and west, the sun will come into play and ultimately will slow me down when I’m facing it, and my friend pays me by the hour but needs me to go as fast as possible. He’d love me to go 2 miles per hour, but I usually go 1.4-1.6. Today, my first street was facing the sun and it was slowing me down and I was surly. Many things have been upsetting me lately and this was just putting me over the top and I was just grumpy.

But then, the subsequent batches of houses that I was assigned to didn’t face the sun.  For like 2+ hours, but when I faced it again but it was setting enough so it wasn’t a bother. 

Somebody “up there” threw me a bone, and I greatly appreciate it. Thanks, God/spirit/angels/universe/vibes… whoever the Great Mystery is. It’s nice to be blessed. 

Career

Worth bringing up to a coworker or not?

So a couple of us stepped up to watch another team’s queue of client inquiries through a different email box.

One of my immediate teammates, Jen, said how minding that emailbox in the afternoon would be difficult for her because there are only 3 of us, Jen, Michele and me, watching our own emailbox of client inquiries at that time and that “typically, Michele and (Jen) end up being the most aggressive in answering inquiries.”

Now, maybe I’m sensitive, but I think that makes me sound like I don’t do my job. Jen has a way of being too wordy and overly explanatory. I do have a project that I take an hour out of the afternoon to work on.  Perhaps she meant that but the way she said it needs work. 

I’m in a confrontational mood these days with what happened with Mona but this is work. Not sure if I should bring it up to her.  We all work from home so communication is sparse between us all anyway. 

But this is a woman who had a problem with my taking an hour to work on this project (when I would take it in the mornings) and didn’t say anything to me yet mentioned it to my boss.

I don’t want to be the guy who has drama all the time. 

Fun.