Know it all

Work interactions were better today. Yay. I’ve spent part of three therapy sessions on my troubling interactions with my boss. Plus I’ve written about it here. And thought about it.

Today I had an ordinary working meeting with this boss and one other manager. Before NB (new boss), I would have simply run this little project on my own with the manager. However, now NB is in every meeting. It was OK. NB was no help, but he didn’t harm either. Anyway, as Ron says, what are the stakes? There basically are none. If NB makes the process more awkward or take longer, so what?

So I was polite, thank God. Listened calmly to everything he had to say. And still got some work done.

Touch wood this continues.

I think there are two parts to my screwed up interactions with NB. The first part is that I’m kind of mad about quite a few things at work, and I wasn’t realizing it. For one thing, I have very little power – I’m at the bottom of the heap, yet I do have good skills and good knowledge. Doesn’t matter. As a contractor, I get left out of things, I’m not consulted, and I’m just not important politically. I am important in terms of getting work done, but that’s all. So I find this annoying. Even though I also appreciate the free time I have, the lack of responsibility, the space to feel really low and not be productive which I just need sometimes.

Then I’m mad this boss is now trying to manage me, when I don’t need that. He doesn’t know enough to be able to manage me in any case. He’ll learn, but he’s not there yet. So I wish it was back to how it was before, me merrily running my projects as I saw fit.

I need to be aware that I feel like that, and try not to let it colour my interactions too much. I’m agreeing to these trade-offs because emotionally, I have issues, and I need low stress work.

It may seem odd I didn’t know how I felt, but it’s true. It wasn’t concrete for me, that all these things really do make me kind of mad. However, it’s not anybody’s fault.

The second part of this I only really stumbled on after my last therapy session. Later on therapy day, and on Saturday, I ended up feeling angry with Ron. Kind of a seething, bubbling anger.

I wrote him an angry email, saying I felt angry with him, similar to how I felt about NB. I felt he didn’t care to hear my opinion, what I had to say wasn’t valued, that he’d put me down if I said what I really thought.

I knew that wasn’t true about Ron, but I felt it.

What I did think was true was he was very eager to start his weekend. I thought he had a lot planned, was trying to get through his Friday so he could start with all those things that were more important than his work (moi).

I sent off this email, then, still steaming mad, I realized this is how I feel about NB. And these feelings are feelings I have about my father. My father was impatient when I was young, he did put me down, he did treat me as if I didn’t matter. NB is triggering off those old old feelings, I’m sure of it. When that happens, I panic, and I become dismissive, discounting, and I feel he can’t do anything right. Which isn’t true. NB is smart enough, and his ideas aren’t bad at all, just he doesn’t know the job well enough yet to start changing things. Anyhow.

Once I start feeling NB is useless, I speak to him rudely.

I really really think this is true. I’ve been in somewhat the same dynamic with Ron when I was going to group – I’d start to feel he couldn’t do his job properly, he was doing the wrong thing, and I’d be completely dismissive of him.

Going into work today, I decided I have to give up trying to do such a good job. Just react more slowly. So what if it all takes longer. I somehow need to outwit my trigger by playing dead.

It worked pretty well. I calmly facilitated the meeting, and did not get annoyed at anyone. It feels like a much better energy. I’m working with, and we’re all trying to figure out what to do together. I’m not trying to impose anything on anyone. Everyone’s opinion is worth hearing.

This is the person I want to be. Not the dismissive know it all. I’m there to assist and to work with not against. I’m not there to show how much I know.

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12 comments
  1. weareonebyruth said:

    Ellen, you are amazing. You are figuring out so much. Hugs. Ruth

  2. Gel said:

    Great stuff here Ellen. I can hear something really different in your tone…something strong and energetic and self-knowing. I really liked reading this. There is a lot of progress here on a number of levels. I like how you are able to take a different perspective on your NB’s making the work process go slower….it sounds like you are seeing that it can just be more time (and $?), instead of an insurmountable problem. That sounds like you are learning tolerance while still being in your power.

    xx

  3. attached said:

    It is great that you have made so many connections. I hope things continue to get better at work and with NB.

    • Ellen said:

      NB is still a bit of a pain, but things are better. Thanks Di

  4. Ashana M said:

    Good stuff. This seems like a very helpful realization.

  5. Cat said:

    Amazing post, Ellen. So very insightful.

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