Saturday, November 9, 2013

I am not a nice person.

I've been reaching out to all the resources my institution offers, and there have been surprisingly many that have been quite useful.  Like, I wasn't expecting the ombuds office to have enough understanding of my situation to offer helpful advice, but they have been really great.  (Sorry for doubting, ombuds people.)

One of the things I got from the ombuds office was a book on having tough conversations.  The book rings pretty true to me, but the method they suggest requires you to, among other things, not be reactive and also to not want pain for the other person.

At some point, months ago, all I wanted was to resolve things.  Maybe not even fully!  Just enough so that I could work in the lab without too much hassle.  Just enough so that I felt like I had a chance to earn my way back into the group.

Now, I want to yell and shout and scream.  I want to make sarcastic remarks.  I want to ridicule my supervisor's perspective.

I'm not exactly sure what's up with the sea change, here.  One contributing factor could be all the kinda-humiliating experiences of assumed incompetence.  

I've also been frustrated with all the different directions I sometimes get pulled in.  I decided, a while ago, to try really hard to Do What Boss-Man Wants.  But everyone feels comfortable telling me what to do.  So for any given task, I'll get told to do it one way by my boss.  And then someone will come in and start chastising me for doing it That Way rather than his favorite Other Way.  And then while I'm looking up some materials properties to help me determine if there's any difference between That Way and Other Way, someone else will come in and tell me that I'm overthinking things and that I'll never get anything done (a true point, to be sure) and that I should just do it, Some Way.  

Just doing something, any old way, is my preference.  So I'm in total agreement with Third Dude Offering Advice.  But I don't know how to explain that Boss will be irritated if I don't do things his way.  And that if I go off script, I'd better have good, numerical justification at the ready, else I'll get an earful.  Or worse, the silent treatment.  It's a special kind of pain, to have your Boss light up and start talking physics when someone else enters the room.  And for that talk to go out like a light when you walk over, wanting to join in.

So I want to yell, and even I can tell that losing my cool is not the way to go.  But I'm so angry, and it's so hard for me to imagine being an effective member of this group.  It seems like it would feel so good to lash out.

Uck.  It seems like another trip to the ombuds office might be in order.

I feel like it would've been helpful if every physics class included a component on how to keep your cool when people start yelling at you for not knowing something that you do, in fact, know.  I mean, actually knowing stuff is important.  But when permission to do work is on the line, it's also important that other people know that you know something.

No comments:

Post a Comment