On Not Hollering




One of the things I had to do today was check some work. It took me a long time, because there were a lot of problems. With one exception, they were problems that I’ve been talking about for months. Problems for which I’ve provided an extensive and specific checklist so everyone on the team understands what needs to happen. Let me tell you, by the time I got about halfway in, I was steaming.

“Is anyone even USING the stuff I send?” I snarled. (Working from home provides opportunities for venting frustrations aloud that are not always available – or prudent – in a cubicle environment. I’m not sure it’s good for me.)

As I worked on through, I kept an e-mail draft open and added more and more feedback. I flirted with sarcasm in my prose, but I know better. I do. I kept it neutral, if extensive. (And I kept all the thoughts about just how extensive it was to myself. USE THE CHECKLIST, PEOPLE. I DIDN’T WRITE IT FOR FUN OKAY?!?)

I re-read it to make sure I was being nice, or at least polite, and then I sent it off.

Ten minutes later, a reply swished into my inbox. A very confused reply. None of the feedback matched the actual work. Because I’d clicked through into the wrong directory on the server, and I was checking work from a year ago.


So. Those folks may think I’m an idiot. (I sure feel like one.) But they probably don’t think I’m a frothing, snarling, nasty idiot. I guess that’s something.

And I’m writing this down as a reminder to myself:

Chill out, sister. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Somebody might indeed be screwing up royally. Chances are about 50/50 that it’s you.

I’m going to slink off and fold a little laundry now. Probably I can do that without mangling it too much. But there are clearly no guarantees.

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