learning to trust my own opinions and expertise
The Lounge wants me to get all rant-y and rave-y for this week’s theme, but given I spent a tidy amount of blog time last week being Miss Grumpy Bum I feel that I will be starting to send the message that I’m all crabbiness all the time. I’m not I’m not, she protests.
But if I must.
Last week I wrote about having a team Icecream Sundae day, which you should all be totally jealous of, and totally start organising for yourselves. Bonus for mums at home – your co-workers (or children if you prefer) will totally LOVE this team building activity. All Win.
So now I need you to ask yourself, what kind of cranky, kill-joy, head-up-their-arse person would object to icecream at work. Wha? No-one like that could actually exist, you say.
But Oh, Yes, there was One.
In many ways I felt extremely sorry for this member of my team. There is no doubt that she was, in many ways, a deeply unhappy and troubled person, but she was also an absolute gun at her job, and if she was in the right mood, great fun to be around. But feelings of sympathy, give way to pity, and then disappear completely after a while when that person won’t acknowledge a problem or accept help, and especially when the good moods become briefer and briefer with longer and longer in between times.
It is my experience that some people, miserable in their own lives, take comfort from causing trouble and misery for others. And this staff member went well out of her way to do exactly that on many occasions, the Icecream Sundae day simply being the most stand out in my mind.
Staff Member (email extract):
I find all of this a bit concerning. I am so busy at the moment I can’t even breathe, so I’m glad some people have time to do all this frivolity during work time. Do we have a plan to cover the rest of the time that the team will be away? By my calculations they are going to gone nearly two hours. Who will be taking phone calls and checking in students during the rest of the time? I think “fun team stuff” needs to be outside of working hours. I’m not the only one that thinks this. I don’t see how making ice creams and some of this other stuff is ‘team building’, but whatever.
I think my head almost exploded when I read this. Seriously. It’s so insulting to so many people on so many levels. No-one else works as hard as her. This is a stupid idea so everyone who takes part must be stupid. It’s a bad management decision on my part. The office won’t cope with this pause in normal routine. All the extra work will fall to her.
But the real message, what she really meant to say was “I’m rotten and miserable and I can’t stand the idea of other people having fun. I am the most important person in this team, and it is my feelings that should count the most, and I will not ever take into account anyone else on this team, and what they might want and how they might feel because I simply Do Not Care. ”
I sent a very measured response along the lines of I’m very sorry that you feel this way, but I am comfortable with the plans, and it will go ahead.
About 2 weeks later she got another job and the whole team heaved a collective sigh of relief. Somewhere out there now is ticking time bomb waiting to go off in another workplace. Ha Ha! Suckers! Should have done better referee checks!
God, am I sounding like a horrible person yet? I’m not I’m not, she protests.
(P.S. I started a facebook page. Go on, Like it, it won’t post nasty messages to you so long as you keep letting me eat ice-cream)