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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas Bells Are Ringing...IN MY HEAD! and the fourth and fifth installments

I don't know what kind of brain chemistry issue I have (I'm sure there are many), but I would like for scientists to pinpoint the one that causes insomnia and then develop a drug that allows you to function the next day without the feeling of a warm towel being wrapped around your brain. For prosperity, I will use this time to further my series on hating your job, which I have decided is too negative even for me. I think I am going to change the title to something like, "On Those Days You Hate Your Job" or "When You Kind of Don't Want to Hate Your Job" or something. Because, again, I really do love my job most days. I just have a tendency toward fatalism on the days I don't.

So here goes.

Number 4 - Focus on satisfactory, not superior performance. Use the time difference to build your new life. People often say, "I can't do anything -- I work ten hours a day!"
If you are firing yourself or expecting to be fired, your job is finding a new job. Be ethical: you owe your company the minimum you need to earn your salary." But don't be surprised if you start to accomplish more than ever and find yourself getting promoted.
Oh, I have so much to say about this one. First of all, Bransoms, in general, are incapable of "focusing on satisfactory, not superior performance". No. I'm sorry. I don't do that. If I am escorted out by security and have to start shoveling dog poop for a living, I will be the best damn poop shoveler in the land. That's just who we are. I would never strive for less than superior performance no matter how much I hated my job.
It reminds me of that Biblical parable that I also struggle with. You know the one. Some of the servants work their butts off all day, some half the day, and some the last part of the day, and they all get paid the same? I still don't understand that. I've heard many sermons, read many scholarly articles, consulted the footnotes of my study Bible...sorry. Just don't get it. Not fair. I guess consult my previous blog on fairness.
I do agree that if you are going to quit your job, you owe it to your company to work hard until the bitter end, and you should ALWAYS have another job lined up. I don't say this out of self righteous indignation, but out of personal experience. I used to work for Michael Scott's evil twin (The Office people, try to keep up). He shall remain nameless here in my blog, because he is a small, pathetic, disgrace of a man, who would absolutely, without a doubt, hire a team of lawyers and sue me for slander or libel or defamation of character. So, we will call him The Turd.
The Turd was the textbook worst boss on earth. His only skill was in hiring people, because the team of folks he has managed to assemble over the years is the only possible explanation for his success. The Turd called pointless weekly meetings that began at 7:00 am. The Turd made everyone where photo name badges, even though there were only eight of us in the building. The Turd would stick his nose in on employee lunch conversations and then when we would inevitably quit talking about whatever we were discussing he would send out a company wide e-mail banning employees from "being friends". The Turd micromanaged everything that happened in the building and could not allow anyone to have knowledge or possess skills that he himself did not. But worst of all, The Turd would hire people on pay structures that he didn't understand, which he would then change mid-stream. For example, he hired me on the basis of profit sharing, which I learned three months into the job he thought meant quote accuracy.
Profit = Revenue - Cost for anyone else confused by this concept. Sheesh.
So, anyway, after six months of dealing with The Turd, I had finally had enough. His ridiculous micromanaging got out of control, I told him so, and he sent me home that day. Sent ME home. ME!!! So the next day....
I went Jerry McGuire all up in that b*(&$.
The fish are coming with me. Fish have manners.
While sticking it to The Turd and leaving him to waffle and struggle to find someone else to do my job in a pinch felt good on the twenty minute car ride home, the thrill quickly waned and I realized I was unemployed. And, since I quit rather then letting myself be fired (which was inevitable in that workplace), I couldn't even draw unemployment.
In hindsight, I should have just put up with The Turd for a few more weeks until I found something else. Luckily it all worked out. I started up my freelance business, which kept me afloat, until I started the job I have now, which 95% of the time I love.
Number 5 - What conflict are you escaping? Dishonesty? Corporate greed? Hypocrisy? Allow yourself to wonder if these qualities are mirrored in your own life -- or even in your mind. If everyone around you seems dishonest, are you being dishonest with yourself? With others? After you resolve your own conflict, you may find the workplace has changed or you have been catapulted into a new, more satisfying life.
I think my biggest conflict at my job I have now is frustration over some people's laziness and lack of motivation and indecisiveness. I work with all good people, but some of them are content with "satisfactory performance" and that pisses me off, because I don't. Although, now that I think about it, the Ph.D. who wrote this delightful little article on hating your job may actually be on to something. I am a perfectionist. A perfectionist to the point of dysfunction. My dad always says to only hold people to the standard to which you hold yourself. Maybe mine are a little too high. I know I am always falling short of my own standards, which is a source of great stress and anxiety for me. So, I guess it follows that if I hold my co-workers to the same unrealistic, unattainable standards that I hold myself, stress, anxiety, and disappointment are inevitable. Hmmmmm......
Any thoughts?

1 comment :

Ty Johnston said...

This is The Turd speaking ...

Just kidding.