Your inner Mitch

Egos are interesting things.  At one time, I thot they were very necessary: we need to think of ourselves in order to survive.  Simply to survive.  There will come a point where giving everything away will include giving your life away.  In order to live, we have to put ourselves into the equation somewhere, even if it’s last.


While rather late in the game, I am learning that an ego just might be an impediment, not an asset.


First, of course, none of us gets out of this thing called Life alive anyway.  Having an ego is no guarantee of immortality.  Put another way, thinking of yourself is really rather superfluous.  It is simply not a matter of “if.”  It is only a matter of “when.”


But the question of “how” is seldom asked (“if” and “when” do not beg the question of “how”).  It seems most people muddle thru life w/o ever getting to how; for me, it is only recently that I have started asking “how.”  “If” was never in doubt, you understand.  When “when” became the topic de jour, the response was first of all to not ask, and then to answer “someday” (and not soon).  Frankly, now: the sooner the better.  I think.


About a month ago I transferred to a work group that I had known about peripherally.  Now that I am one of “them,” I understand why they are so poorly understood.  A pressure-cooker environment with poor tools to accomplish difficult tasks for ungrateful customers (both internal management as well as those external customers who buy the products).  Could a dysfunctional workplace have anything other than dysfunctional workers in it?  Maybe.


And so it is that someone who obviously slept thru the lecture on people skills finds himself working “with” others in pursuit of “delighting” the customer.  Dunno why he’s in a customer service organization, when his personality is more conducive to being a lighthouse keeper (think Alpha Centauri, not Neah Bay).  To say he’s “rude” is the result of working hard to sugar coat the obvious truth.


And, he’s not alone.


That sort of behavior is sad; but it is also ludicrous.  As a college prof once said, “I never lie about anything that is easily checked,” this work environment is one of limited verbal exchange and nearly total written communication.  In other words, anyone can check the written record to find out what was actually done – in fact a written record is absolutely essential because, in a 24/7/365 organization, a lot of people need to be included on issues that take 24-48 hours of continuous, round-the-clock involvement.  “No man is an island” was never so true as in this place.


Certainly possible that it is just me (what was that about ego, again?).  I am the newest kid on the block; the “newbie,” the “FNG.”  Fine, the t-shirts I have had in my closet for years still fit.  I did expect civility, however.  Learning how to use a cantankerous computer system that is poorly documented only adds to the frustration of trying to do a good job, of trying to be productive, of trying to add, rather than inhibit.  But, I just gotta think that anyone would have to take time to learn this system; I’m slow, but I do believe I’m in the ballpark.


Funny that members of a group that exists to help the customer are so rude to each other.


The Number One Worst Job I’ve ever had was an assembly line job in which I lasted three days while working my way thru school.  This one is Number Two (tho I’ve managed to last a month+).  It isn’t so much the work, tho the work is inherently unsatisfying, and working for a huge company is unrewarding anyway.  It is the people, pure and simple.  In any event, why don’t I leave?  At my age, and in this economy, that would be financial suicide (yes Virginia, even this job is better than standing with a cardboard sign on a street corner).


What prompted this post?  Frankly, I can’t remember the last time someone walked away from me while I was talking to him.  Just turned his back and walked away.  If he had added a gesture, I would have thought him supercilious, instead of crass.

  1. Yep! been there…had that done to me…I just stood like a statue thinking I missed a parting comment…must have been my hearing!
    If you go see my latest post…you might find it interesting and remember that I showed it to you first ….
    a long time ago!

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