Friday, January 29, 2010

It's tricky, tricky, tricky.

(My Run DMC references are over. I promise.)

I don't know why, but I find it difficult to ignore the peevish feelings that arise when my coworkers do things like ask me if I've received email, talk to me from another room, or ask me about whether I've completed a task before I've even gotten to it yet. They tend to crop up in situations where I feel I'm being treated like someone's personal assistant (which I'm not) and for reasons beyond my understanding, my usually cheerful, happy-to-help self is left in quite a state. Can they see the steam coming from ears? Is it seeping out between my teeth as I try to smile and be pleasant? The following is a list of frequently arising work-related pet peeves:

1. Asking me if I've received an email
Generally speaking, my email inbox works quite well. I understand that technology isn't always fool-proof, that there are glitches, but in general if you send me something you can bet that I've received. I may not have had a chance to reply, but I have it and will get to it.

2. Talking to me from another room
Okay, there's really only one person who does this and it's because their office is fairly close to my desk which means I can hear them speaking to me. Of course, they get agitated when they can't see that I have headphones on and can't hear or that I'm ignoring whatever is being said. Maybe that's because if you're dying to tell me something you could a.) send me an email or b.) come up and talk to me.

3. Asking me if something's completed before I've even started
Now, if I were a slacker, this would be totally warranted and absolutely essential to making sure I'm getting the tasks done that need to be completed. However, I'm not a slacker. I'm a pretty hard worker. I also have many projects on my plate. Is it so difficult to understand that I can't publish a web page in under 15 minutes yet? Is it impossible to grasp that your tiny request of making a PDF of a file will be done after I've attended to the urgent project on my plate at the moment? Goodness gracious -- I'll GET to it!

Now, before I convince anyone that my coworkers are horrendously annoying people (they're not - they just have moments), there are two bright beacons of redemption. My boss is always so nice when requesting anything from me. Even when he's stressed, flustered and having a hard time to remember to throw in a "please" or two, he's still polite and knows that he can trust me in finishing what I need to get done in time. I mean, he IS my boss -- and yet he trusts me more than those who do not directly manage me? Interesting.

My coworker Lisa (name has been changed to protect the innocent) is the kindest, most thoughtful person I've ever worked with. She apologizes for interrupting me, she asks me to do something "when [I] have a chance." Just that wording alone makes me more inclined to help her because I think, "Of COURSE! Yeah, I'll take care of that little thing right now while I'm thinking of it."

In all seriousness, do you think Jesus had pet peeves? I mean, I'm positive that he would have dealt with them much better than I ever could and I pray that I will become more like Him in dealing with minor things that irritate me (because they really are minor). But sometimes, that quest to be more like Him demonstrates to me just how far I have to go and reminds me to be humble about my own shortcomings.

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