Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Who? Me?

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

                                       Mark Twain

Don't you just love it when you're sitting in a meeting, and your manager brings up an issue for the entire group, although everyone knows it's targeted at only a few individuals--or perhaps only one? First of all, I've wished for years that various managers I've had would address issues with individuals, rather than lumping us all into the same group. In a previous job, we were all told that we needed to watch our late starts and cut down on our tardiness. Tardiness? Me? I'm never late to work barring bad weather or unforeseen disaster, and in fact I tend to get there 15 minutes or so early. It's always rankled me to be chided, no matter how gently, for an infraction which I haven't committed.

Secondly, I've also noticed that the person or persons who DO commit the infractions invariably don't "get it" that they are the ones responsible! Sometimes to the point of absurdity. An issue a few years ago occurred with one person who took frequent and lengthy breaks, to the point where they spent about three hours a day out of the department. Several of us complained about it--there was work to be done, by God!--and it was addressed at a departmental meeting. We were ALL reminded about our breaks, although only one person was abusing the privilege. This person actually spoke up and reminded US that our breaks and lunches start when we leave the department, not when we get to the break room. We were floored, and there was a stunned silence before we moved on to the next topic. We still laugh about it.

Cluelessness, indeed. We encounter so many people who are so completely unaware of their own behaviors that they actually believe they are totally innocent in such matters, and often begin to accuse others of the same behavior. I'm not sure if that's considered delusional or not, but it seems pretty thick-skulled at the very least. From the person in the grocery store who stops in the middle of the aisle to chat, to the person who leaves their cell phone on in a movie theater or courtroom, to the coworker who just doesn't get that their excessive breaks are cheating their coworkers AND their's a complete lack of self-awareness at best, or a feeling of "that doesn't apply to ME" at the worst.

Awareness of the self and of the world around you is a great state to be in. Give it a try! Not only can you learn more about yourself, your motivations, and your own personal bugaboos, you can figure out areas you need to work on, and ways to improve your outlook, how others perceive you, and day-to-day interactions. Be aware of the kind of people you like to be around--they are probably upbeat, positive, ready with a word of praise or with a gentle touch if criticism is needed, smiling, kind, you try to emulate those qualities, or do you project the opposite to those you encounter? Something as simple as being aware and thinking about the behavior of people who others like to be around can lead you to insights about your own behavior. Are people drawn to you, or when they see you coming, do they get that deer-in-the-headlights look? How do you want to be perceived? A little self-awareness can go a long way in changing things.


cayasm said...

Unfortunately in the work place there are many people you describe so well, it's just so annoying as a Manager I always took the guilty to oneside and told them directly and even then most denied that they were doing wrong, the y just don't get it demoralises the rest of the team.

Take care


buckoclown said...

Don't even get me started on cell phones LOL.  I find it amazing how they have invaded our day-to-day lives, and have become indespensible.  While I have one, I rarely give out the number, I use it mostly for travel and as a way to deal with an accident or emergency.

As for being Clueless, it is amazing how people are often not aware of how they are percieved.  I know that at work, as a leader, it is important to keep an even temperment.  Recently, my boss and another manager, both get very upset because the work details did not come together as planned.  They became angry and verged on verbal abuse.  At times like this, I make sure I have time to go and get my workout in (we have a workout facility at the plant, and I try and go several times a week), it helps relieve the stress, put things in perspective, and keep you from making an ass of yourself.  Nice entry Wifey :o)

fremoris said...

Perhaps it’s a subcategory of cluelessness, but persons who walk up to two people in the middle of a conversation and INTERRUPT that conversation deserve a special mention.  The behavior goes far beyond mere rudeness; it signals a complete lack of awareness of what others are doing - or even that others occupy a shared patch of this world’s surface.  Personally, I find those interruptions so disconcerting that I cannot “get back into the story” when the clod finally decides to sidle down the line and seek out others to interrupt as well.  I walk away (before I hit somebody).  And then, perhaps ten or fifteen minutes later, the person I was telling the story to runs half way across the building, grabs me by the lapels, and makes me finish my story.  Without all those clueless interrupters, we’d get a whole lot more done in our workdays.  And I’d get to finish my stories.
Uncle Bill

stratmanj5 said...

Well said!  We've all griped about this for years.  I personally liked the one group reminder about personal phone calls when EVERYBODY knew who the 2 people were.  The one person is gone, but the other one is still employed and still gets about 8 calls a night when I'm there.  That group chiding worked well, didn't it?  Sheesh.  

mpnaz58 said...

Managers who chide a group instead of individuals, are afraid to deliver the difficult message, therefore have no business being in management.  Part of the responsibility of being in top positions is doing the right thing, especially for the company's bottom line.  Unfortunately, these days, doing the right thing doesn't seem to mean what it used to.  Nowadays it more like "show me the money"...
xoxo ~Myra

queeniemart said...

i work with one chick in particular who never shuts up, never. She interrupts, brown noses constantly and criticizes long term associates and she has been at this job 6 months. If i do not like someone, i do not talk to them. I can be quite the bitch if i want to be and this clueless windbag just does not get it! Someone will comment right in front of her about overbearing, loud mouth knowitalls and she will say "oh God, i hate people like that". Duh, like, go look in the mirror. Yesterday she attempted to talk to me and i kept on going because unless it is an emergency, i ignore her completely. She yells "I JUST DO NOT GET YOU AT ALL, LISA AND I DO NOT APPRECIATE HOW YOU TREAT ME BY IGNORING ME".

i stopped, turned, smiled and said "May God bless YOU".

seriously, i need a job where NO ONE else is around.
hugs ,lisa