Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Waves of Disapproval

Today I made a mistake at work. Nothing earth shattering. But one of the magazines I handle mailed today, when it should have mailed Friday. The net result of this was that the few people who downloaded their publication before 2:30 pm today were unable to click through on some of the reader service numbers in the ads. And since this publication is paid by the lead, it was a pretty important mistake to them. I spoke to the client, smoothed the feathers, all ended well. The mistake was an honest one. According to the schedule, the publication was supposed to mail today. I missed the part of approval email the mentioned the revised date. I told my boss of the situation, and he immediately shut down. Absolute waves of disapproval and resentment emanating from him in my general direction.

After the situation was resolved, I had lunch with my husband. Until hat time, I was fairly calm about the whole thing. But once I sat down in the diner, I completely unloaded. I was so completely irritated at my bosses reaction. I told Brian that my boss clenched to tight that you couldn't drive a stick pin up his ass with a jack hammer. If you shoved a piece of coal up his ass, he'd shit a flawless diamond in about point thirty seven seconds. Brian was rolling at my diatribe, but did ask me to lower my voice...

We then went on to discuss other topics, one of which was our son. Of course, you say. Christopher is 11, nearly 12. He is trying on having opinions on things in the world, and expressing them. This is a good thing. The problem I am having with it is that he is repeating what he hears without educating himself, and forming his own opinion. Learn, form and espouse your opinion, fine. Repeat the latest sound bite, without solid information and then arguing when a correction is offered, not fine. In my irritation with the day, I told Brian that my son intellectually lazy. A repeater of unassimilated, spoon fed information from questionable sources. Brian knew what I was saying, but was stunned with how brutally I said it. I would never say those words to Christopher.

So what's the point. Well, the point is that I had a very visceral reaction at my boss's immediate shut down. He couldn't even look at me. Earlier in life, I would have taken this very personally. I'd have been upset with myself and everyone else for hours. Today, I actually kidded my boss about it, telling him his displeasure was palpable. He said I hate mistakes, my own most of all...I asked him how, given how he reacts to others, he hadn't jumped in front of a bus yet.

I, too, shut down when I disapprove. Waves of my (considerable) negativity are flung into the universe. When Christopher does or says something I don't like, there it is. Big, ugly, and sometimes very loud. He asked me which I hate more, press or papparatzi. I told him papparatzi because of their invasiveness, intrusiveness, their utter lack of regard for the person pursued, etc. He argued that the press is more invasive in their sometimes relentless questioning. We then went on to discuss the journalistic integrity more present in the mainstream press, and that does not include the National Inquirer. He would not hear any other point of view, would not learn the difference between the two types of reporting. I shut down. Hard. A conversation turned to an argument that bruised us both, and tainted an evening. And while I didn't say he was intellectually lazy, etc., I doubt the words were necessary. He knew exactly how I felt, even if the words were not stated.

Like my boss, I am my own harshest critic. Being so makes me less compassionate than I could be to everyone around me. I have lately been trying to find ways to be more patient with myself, and having that spill over to the rest of the world. There are some interesting meditation exercises that I just read about designed to increase what is called "loving-kindness" towards oneself. Basically, the line of thinking is if one should have loving-kindness thoughts for themselves. Then those to whom they are close, then to those for whom they have no feeling at all, and finally for those they don't care for. If one can master compassionate thoughts for all these categories of people, they will know greater inner peace, and see the world more positively. I kinda get it, but I also know I can be seriously derailed...



SOUL: said...

sounds like a rather crappy day-- of sorts.
nothing a glass--or so, of wine can't fix.
hope tomorrow is better .
you're thinkin too much.. it's wendesday-- relax.

SOUL: said...

are waves of disapproval any better than waves of nausea?
just askin?
really hoping that you have a much bettah day!

Maria said...

God, we are very much alike. I tend to have little patience with sloppy logic. My sisters often pray to God when they want someone to get better, etc. When the person gets better, they celebrate at how they were able to get God to intercede for them. But, when things don't is "just life." I always tell them that their logic is sloppy. If they follow their own logic, then they should just admit that God didn't intercede because they didn't pray hard enough, etc.

I am not popular at family dinners....

Foster Communications said...

I figure we're all going to make a certain number of mistakes in life. You're one mistake closer to never making one again! :)

Oh, and I love your description of your boss' tight ass!

Kate said...

I have this going on with Sara to an extent. In her case, she parrots my beliefs, based on conversations she overhears when I'm talking with adults. I always question her: ask her why she thinks that way and tell her that she has to come up with her own reasons for her opinions. I dunno....fomulating an informed opinion may require years of practice - a skill honed through argument. And it may require a lot of life experience that kids just don't have, yet. I think calling them out regarding their opinions is good for their brains.

simonsays said...

I so completely understand you - but I tend to be the OTHER way, I am severely hard on myself, and never hard enough on my kids or anyone I love. I think that somewhere between you and I would be the best place to be. Perhaps not SO hard on us, and medium hard with our children?

Your kiddo is only nearly 12, good heavens, I think it's awesome that he even thinks....when my sons were that age, if it didn't involve a video game, it didn't exist. He sounds completely smart like his mama...just sayin.

Have an awesome Friday, k?