Tag Archives: who are you

Making Progress

The strangest thing happened to me this week.

There was that one coworker that I was having serious trouble understanding. He was the one with whom I thought I had nothing in common. Almost every conversation or interaction with him was awkward or forced. I had trouble trusting him because I couldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt. At least that’s where I thought I was with him.

The strange thing that happened was that he asked me if I wanted to get a drink that evening, after dinner. It was the day the other LA staff had to leave to Dallas to go back to LA. It was so weird because, like I said, we had already gotten dinner as a team. We had gone back to the hotel. It was like 9pm and he had only texted me. Oh, and were staying at different hotels. So he had to drive to get to this bar for the drink. And, I guess the weirdest part was that I thought he felt the same way about me. Maybe not all that distrusting stuff, but at least the not having anything in common part.

Anyway, I was jogging when I got that text. I said yea, let’s do it, I’m jogging so when I shower I’m good to go. He said alright and I met him at the bar for the drink.

It was weird, because it wasn’t that weird.

I don’t remember the first thing we talked about, but we hit some pretty easy topics. We talked about our favorite movies and! why we liked them. We talked about work, but not that usual way where it’s just complaining other people he’s worked with, or when he’s name dropping important people he knows. It was us talking about what we like and don’t like. We were both opening up. It felt real.

That’s how we left it. The next day he flew back to LA and I stayed until Sunday to spend some time with my family.

I thought this might happen. I know we didn’t have anything in common, but I figured that our experience at this client, would eventually be the start of our things in common. I just thought it would take like a year.

I’m really curious how things will be in January.


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Connect Two

There’s a coworker with whom I’m having trouble connecting.

Last time in Dallas was the first time I worked with him and it didn’t go so well. I spent a good amount of time thinking about why and I boiled it down to us not having anything in common. That was causing me to not give him the benefit of the doubt in our interactions. So anytime he had comments about, let’s say, what we should do next or where to get an answer, I would think he was lying or trying to make me look bad in front of the boss peoples.

When the two weeks started, things went pretty well. I was in a good mood and I was kind of trusting him, which I thought was because this time around we had something in common. We at least had the shared experience of being at the client the last time around.

Things were good most of the week. I probably felt the best about him on Thursday of that first week. That day to had a variance in one of my work papers and I finally asked for help from the boss peoples. After some in tense discussions, for like 15-20 minutes, the boss lady realizes it was my fault. I had set something up wrong. So I was feeling embarrassed and everything, but he was trying to help me find the error and being genuinely helpful. He was being empathetic.

Friday was whatever, but the following week was more fun.

Another coworker from LA was staying nearby so we were going to hang out with him a couple of times. I had only met this guy other time, but he didn’t seem like he’d have much in common with this guy. So I had a chance to see what or why this new guy liked in him.

It was kind of a bust. They mostly talked about work. Specially bad clients they have or had, stuff that irked them about other coworkers, stuff they hated about people who had left. But I guess that’s one way to have things in common. Talking about people has never really been my thing. Even the huge conversation with myself that I’m about to have below is really about me.

Anyway, the biggest break through came on probably Tuesday or Wednesday of that second week. The boss lay was reviewing some of our work and asking some questions.

She first asked me if I had signed off on a work paper and I said something like “no, sorry, I’ll do it now.” No big deal, because it wasn’t.

A few minutes later, she asked him about something and it turned out he had forgotten to do it, or did it wrong, I can’t remember which. It was anything too bad. It was a small oversight and easy fix.

Then about a minute later she asked us if anyone had grouped the accounts on some work paper, which was my responsibility and I hadn’t, so I said another, whoops sorry. It was an annoying thing, but also another easy fix. Well while I was saying that, he had an, oh that was his fault comment. To which I was like um yea my fault, my bad, do you want me to fix that? The boss lady said no, that she would handle it, but this guy was like oh I can’t believe you didn’t do that.

Which I immediately thought oh this guy doesn’t want to look like he made more mistakes than me. He really doesn’t give off that impression. And then so much clicked for me.

I knew this guy was ambitious, because he likes to humblebrag. He’ll complain about how much he had to work, because so many people needed his help. Actually, that basically sums up most of his humblebrags. But once he made a big deal about this small thing, I realized how insecure he is.

In light of that realization, the events of the previous Thursday don’t seem as empathetic, because he was probably mainly helping me to look better to the bosses.

But oh well, at least we don’t have to work together on the same work, just on the same client. And hey, maybe things will be different when we see each other again in January. At least then we’ll have two trips to Dallas in common.

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Good Food

Good food is wasted on me.

I don’t have the best sene of taste. At some point it all taste the same. Most foods tastes the same.

There’s a difference between Taco Bell and authentic tacos. Or different beers. Or cake a pie. But I have real trouble differentiating between >$20 steaks. Or super expensive wines/beers.

I see it as more of a blessing. I’m happy with almost any food.

Although, something did irk me the other day.

We went to a place called Eatzis for lunch. It’s like a Eurooean deli/market. It’s got a build your own salad and sandwich and a bunch of fancy foods.

I’m not really mad at the food. I’m more mad at the place because it feels so fake.

It feels like a giant scam because they’re just selling the feeling. The food is fine, but the store is a giant facade. It’s not real. They’re just taking advantage of consumers. It’s bordering on cultural appropriation, because it’s almost fully staffed by Mexican people, and it has nothing authentic.

That’s what I don’t like.

It’s not like it’s for me. It’s for everyone who gets likes to get played. It’s not really real. It’s fake and it feels pretentious.

Also, those waitress girls are never into you.

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Lost Motivation

The days go by really fast when you’re avoiding things.

There hasn’t been much to do at work recently. I was in the wonderful position of not having to do anything. I was open for work, but nothing came.

I suppose I could have done something great those days, but I didn’t. It wasn’t because I wasn’t done anything. On the contrary, I was doing lot of little things.

You’d be surprised how a little thing can take up your whole morning. Not because you actually spend a lot of time on it, but because there’s a lot of subconscious prep work you do before and after it.

You have to go get coffee. Then some water. Then go to the restroom. Answer the one email that came through while you were at the restroom. Check the binder. Get some more water. Get some more coffee. Do some research on lunch places. Pick a lunch place. Get some steps in. Check your mail again. Do the small task. Go to lunch.

The afternoon is pretty similar. The afternoon is special though, because around 4pm you just want to leave.

The problem with all this seemingly free time is that since it’s so far removed from actual deadlines and work, it’s very unmotivating to try and do something productive.

The future benefit is just too low.

Also, I do my best work with clearly defined goals in a team setting. I had neither of those this week.

I shouldn’t be surprised that I couldn’t concentrate.

I’m only human.

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Evaluation Stress

Adding to my current continuing insecurities are my upcoming evaluations at work.

I’m sure I have been nervous for evaluation or grades before, but I can’t seem to really remember when. There were two jobs I finished in June from which I needed evaluations. I had a hard time asking for them last week because I didn’t want to hear what they would say.

I was going to say that work these last three years has been easy, but they haven’t. There have been some tough times. The thing is the people I was working with always seemed to like me, or at least appreciate my work. So evaluations weren’t too stressful.

I saw how others behaved during evaluations. How stressed and worried they were. I should have been more appreciative of my position. I didn’t know what my evaluations would be, but I knew they would be good.

Since I transferred to this job, I have been playing catch up. I have been catching up for a while. I passed my year anniversary with the Company a few weeks ago. I think that means I should be done catching up and my “I just got here” excuse is running out.

That was the thing about the first evaluations with this Company. I got a pass because of the “I just got here” excuse. Now things are expected.

To be fair. I knew what these two evaluations would say. The boss ladies and I had brief conversations before the engagements ended and there some quick comments and suggestions about my performance that I took to heart because they were the truth.

I got the evaluations late last week. They said exactly what I expected. We’re also given letter grades along with the evaluators comments on the two aspects of our performance. “D” is for developing. It’s basically a pass because you’re new at the job. I was expected four Ds (both aspects on both evaluation), but I actually got a “P” for proficient for one of the aspects. It was three Ds and one P. So I guess that’s technically better than I expected.

Does that make me any less nervous going forward? No. Why? Because for the next grading period I was doing internal control work, which I something I have very very little experience doing. What would I prophecy my evaluation to be for that period? Ds.

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The IT Girl

While I was thinking about how my friend called me manipulative, I had to go back to Dallas for work.

It was for the same client, but the work was different. We were going to do some IT work for the client this time. I wasn’t doing the IT work, but our Company was. So IT people came with us.

Since the Company tries to minimize costs to the client, we usually all stay at the same place and rent one car. That means we usually have dinner together because we’re ending the night at the same place. Also, it’s usually a new city for us, so we stick together.

Two IT people were with us this week. On the first night the entire team wasn’t there, so only one of them went out to dinner with me. The other people on the team were from Dallas, so they go home for dinner with their families.

We go to some pizza place and we’re having a good time. Conversation is flowing. We’re laughing and getting to know each other. It was great. It was good.

At no point during the dinner was I looking to get anything from her. I was in the moment.

After the dinner, when all of this popped into my head, I realized there was nothing I could really get from her. She wasn’t going to help me with my work. At most, since the IT people aren’t coming back, I would see her again next year and that’s if we keep the client.

But did I know that while I was talking to her?

I don’t think so.

Either subconsciously I knew it, so good for me for being so subconsciously smart and can I be a bad person if my subconscious is in charge, or I didn’t know it at the time, so good for me I’m a good person.

It’s probably a coin flip. So why not give myself the benefit of the doubt.

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That Vulnerable Feeling

I haven’t really wanted to write recently and I think I finally know why.

I have been feeling very vulnerable lately. I can’t recall the last time I was this vulnerable for so long.

It started about two months ago. I was recommend a book to read by an old friend. I read it, hated it, and it stuck with me. The main character was reprehensible. His actions were deplorable. His entire world view was one of the single worst outlooks on life that someone could have. It made me feel bad about myself because we shared the same sex.

For all those reasons, it stuck with me. It didn’t really make me question myself. In fact, it made me feel a superior to the character in the book and to the average male.

The author’s writing style reminded me of The Stranger, so I bought and read that a week later. The Stranger was, well, it was what you would expect, and it made me feel a bit more detached from the world and free.

Off the back of The Stranger, I met someone who I had nothing in common with. He and I were working on the same client and had to spend two weeks together. During that time we had breakfast through dinner together each week. That gave us plenty of time to talk. Time which turned out to be very difficult because, like I said, we had nothing in common.

It became fairly unnerving when I realized we had nothing in common. I lost the ability to give him the benefit of the doubt, which turned out to be annoying because we had to work on things together. I kept asking myself why it mattered so much that I wanted to have something in common with him. I realized I need something, anything, in common so that I could trust him. That’s why I couldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt, because there was no basis for trust.

For the next few weeks, I would tell this story to those friends I would run into. I wanted to get theirs on the issue, but mostly I thought it was a good story because how often do you find someone with nothing in common to you? Someone who have shared no significant experiences and who has a completely different preferences and points of view?

It just so happened that I was meeting up with a few old friends that I rarely see. Most notable, I went to NYC to see my old college roommate. During our last dinner together, I brought up this story and I ended it with the same conclusion I did above. It bothered me that we had nothing in common because that meant I couldn’t trust him.

My friend laugh and says that’s not it. That it bothered me because without anything in common, I couldn’t manipulate him.

I told him that wasn’t it. That I needed something in common, in order to trust him, in order to do my job more efficiently. He insisted that I really didn’t care about that. That I was only looking for a way to control my relationship with him. It was only a ploy for future manipulation.

It bothered me that he said that for two reasons. First, my intentions were pure. I was only looking to do my job without having to consider whether everything he said had some hidden malice. Secondly, I hadn’t considered getting information in order to possibly exploit that in the future, but once he mentioned it. It seemed like a pretty good idea.

The worst part came minutes later while I was pressing him for an explanation. He said that’s how he saw me, as a controlling person, and that people don’t change.

Granted I have only seen him for a day in each of the last three years and I hadn’t seen him for 2 years before that. So I don’t think it would have been possible to change his opinion of me in only 3 days over the last 5 years. But, I thought I was different. I thought I was better. Maybe he’s right though and people don’t change.

I think that was the cherry on the uncertainty sundae.

I’m still sure of who I am, but I’m not so sure of what I am.

And if I’m not sure of that, then I’m not sure that’s who I want to be.

That uncertainty is making me vulnerable.

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