This is my last week at work. I’m finding it difficult. There is absolutely nothing for me to do. I sit at the opposite side of the building from the rest of the department I’m with, so no one knows that I’m there. I do chat a bit when I first arrive with one cubicle neighbour, and that’s about the extent of human contact for the day. I did ask if I could work from home this week, and my boss emailed that it’s ‘inappropriate’ to do so without a good reason. Well, my reason is it makes no difference to anyone if I’m there or not – but I don’t say that. Instead, I go in the morning, but pack up my laptop and leave at lunchtime. So far, no complaints. It’s a risk – my boss could walk by my desk, even just on his way to somewhere else, and see that neither I or my laptop are there. However, I don’t think he cares, as long as he doesn’t have to officially give me permission to work offsite.
I did start feeling things after my last post, where I was stuck in a numb state. It took about a day to get back into my body. I start at my feet, for some reason.
I considered some more this boss’ similarities to my father. We spent a fair amount of time discussing this in my session, though mostly what I said was what I posted previously. Ron said if I think my relationship with my father is influencing what happens for me, I need to change my relationship to my father. But I don’t see him much, I say, we barely interact. I know, says Ron. And there the conversation ended. I have little idea of how I might change my relationship, such as it is, to my father. What would that look like, in the context of we basically don’t have a relationship?
I do feel I’m amazingly triggered by this boss. And all this realization is somewhat wasted, because now I don’t interact with him anymore, and am leaving shortly anyway. I know I shouldn’t have raised my voice in our last interaction, where he went sailing down the wrong river. Why couldn’t I just calmly point out my concerns, and leave it at that? At least I let it be, after that, I didn’t raise it again.
When I was a child / teenager, my father consistently humiliated me. He has this whole superiority thing going, where he feels superior because of his education. I’m not sure why there had to be a scapegoat. Why did he need to rank the children, from smart to stupid? Not that he exactly said I was stupid.
A lot was done with looks. For instance, if I came into a room when there were visitors, and I’d be shy, he’d wince with embarrassment. Or if my brother and I were arguing about something, he’d smile at my brother and frown at me. Or he’d criticize my clothes, my table manners, anything.
His favorite weapon, my whole family’s favorite weapon, was cold withdrawal. If I did something displeasing, he’d look away, leave the room. Culminating in him never talking to me at all when I was a teenager.
So it makes sense that when I seem to be ignored, even though it’s for much different reasons at work, it triggers old and deep feelings.
The other thing about my family’s culture was the importance of being the smartest. I don’t know that this was the real concern, at bottom, but it’s how they presented it. You were more valued, the more logically and knowledgeably you could argue your case. Emotion was forbidden. In a way, there’s nothing that terrible in this. Knowledge and logic are good things. Just that people weren’t valued for themselves, or valued as people with feelings that need to be respected and cared about. It was all about this logic stuff all the time.
So when I was arguing with my boss, all that kicked in. This boss does the same kind of thing, bringing in all kinds of arguments and looking smart. I’m sure he is very intelligent. But it triggers me into trying to also look smart. Which is always a mistake in my profession. It never leads anywhere good. Most of these things are matters of practice anyway, they can’t really be deduced. So what needs to happens is you need to have conversations with the right people. For me, I need to keep my relationships good, with people wanting to work with me. I am never the expert, and shouldn’t try to be. I pull things together, I don’t come up with things myself.
Anyway, arguing was stupid. Trying to look smart was stupid. But under stress, I’ll revert to what i know and try to look smart. Stupid.