Unexpected. Plus and minus and plus.

This week is turning out to be a lot busier than I expected. It’s also very dynamic, as a bunch of colleagues from halfway across the country are “in town” all week for all day workshops.

I didn’t actually realize that I was supposed to attend the workshops, because my job does not overlap a lot with what they are discussing. However, I do have a whole lot of experience in thinking through this entire process that we are going through – re-designing a massive website that cannot not work.

My boss even told me he didn’t think that I needed to be there, but other people who attended asked me why I wasn’t there, so I realized that my boss had not specifically told me not to go, but had made that statement as a lead in for further discussion.

He keeps doing that, and I find it very confusing. I wish people would just say what they are thinking and quit hinting around and expecting me to come back with a counter–comment or somesuch. It’s just not a good use of time, but that’s how people work so…

Anyway, people really liked having me there in the workshop yesterday, so I’m going back again today and again tomorrow, effectively trashing any kind of productivity that I was hoping to have this week. I’m under a bunch of deadlines, and I can’t really afford to take the time out, but there’s still a lot of team dynamics stuff that I need to sort out and work through, so I can work effectively with these people

What I have noticed, or rather discovered, is that it is next to impossible to get anything done in the changing organization, unless I have a good relationship with the people who I am asking for a favor. People don’t actually do the right thing for the right reason around here. They really only do what they are asked to by people who they like and trust. I find that absolutely bizarre. Why would you predicate your behavior on personal feelings about another person? If a job needs to get done, it needs to get done, period. There’s no personal preference involved. What needs to get done, needs to get done.

If only everyone shared my point of you, maybe the world will not be in such a terrible mess, right about now. But I’m being grandiose again, so I’ll drop the line of reasoning.

Anyway, I’ve been sitting in rooms filled with people talking all day, and I have to do it again today and tomorrow, until I get a break. I had to go to dinner with these people last night, which was typically challenging in some really uncomfortable ways. The restaurant was busy, we were crammed in for beside each other, the prices were high, the food was complicated, and I really wasn’t sure about the etiquette of who pays for what and when. In the end, other people treated the whole group to dinner, which is fine, but that doesn’t change the anxiety that nag me all evening.

These kinds of social events are such a gauntlet. I did manage to step away A few times during the evening, but I always had to come back to the table, to the crowd, to the confusion, and although the evening ended with no serious mishaps – bonus! – It’s still feels like a whole lot of work for nothing.

Except that now I might actually be able to get some things done, because people know me better than they did before. That’s some consolation, but not nearly enough.

Anyway, the whole thing is a mixed bag. On the one hand, I enjoyed getting to know other people better, and I am comforted by the thought that we are bonding and they are coming to trust me more, but on the other hand this is going to make it harder to leave. Maybe. I don’t see my current job as a long – term prospect, but who knows? I might surprise myself and find a way to tolerate this.

Eventually, I might just figure out how to interact with these people without screwing too much up. It’s a goal.

3 thoughts on “Unexpected. Plus and minus and plus.

  1. Thank you for posting this. It is fascinating – I have worked at several places where I’ve very similar experiences. Visits by colleagues from elsewhere always seem to involve forced socialising (which isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s never in your own terms), endless “catching up” and for some reason inevitable politics. Just get on with it!
    I guess if everyone was the samethe world would be a dull place, but I definitely think that the standard corporate assumption is that everyone operates in the same way and that that way suits everyone. Which can’t ever be true, surely?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. VisualVox

      Thank you!

      Everybody wants their “face time”… which is nice and heart-warming, I suppose, but I’m perfectly capable of connecting with others and collaborating effectively, without getting to know them personally and spending hours across from them at a crowded table in a noisy restaurant.

      Not everybody is like that, of course. Oh, well… Everybody has to pick up some slack from some people, now and then. So it goes.


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