Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Where is this anger coming from?

I just escaped from a conference call. Literally, I escaped. There was someone on the call who is, admittedly, very intelligent and a true subject matter expert. And there was a set of reasonably menial tasks associated with arbitrary goals which were being asked of this expert. And, the expert, like all of us, is up to his ears in work. Ears.

I know this because I am a parallel person to the expert, and my to do list makes my eyes bleed. So, I fully feel the pain of someone adding arbitrary items to my list. But, these were arbitrary items which were committed to at some point, and re-committed to at other points by people who may or may not have had full visibility into the level of idiocy involved.

But, at the current juncture, there was a to do list and it was menial, and short of recreating a revolution, that stuff needed doing. What we do next month - we can talk about that. But what needs doing today will likely need doing today, regardless of any coup. And regardless of its menial nature. Someone's expecting it, and backing out now would jack up the metrics of 100 people. It's a fait accomplit.

And yet, the expert was fighting tooth an nail. He got agreement that the whole thing was insane. Ridiculous. Badly thought out. Will be different next time. And yet, fighting. I was only peripheral to the task, so I finally dropped off. I couldn't handle the sound of the bickering. It physically agitated me.

So I realized - just being NEAR this type of agitation - let alone being an actor in it - made my life worse. I don't even want to hear it. It raises my blood pressure, makes me testy, and makes me respond to perfectly nice people with aggression. It's contagious, and not in a "fight for what's right!" way.

And I realize I've worked in environments when this was the norm, day in and day out. And in retrospect, it's no wonder I had to work out just to relax after work. It's no wonder I was stressed and unhappy. Even now, 15 minutes later, I am still trying hard to calm my nerves - and this wasn't even directed at me.

Makes me think about the kind of world I want to create for myself...

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