My work is a bit delayed this morning since I made a mess of my environment. First of all, instead of putting the laptop to sleep, I shut it down. And after starting up, it wouldn't recognize the secondary screen. Then I had some pending updates to apply, so I started the system updates and then Chrome windows started crashing. Without access to the browser, I thought I'd take a small break and write about the things that have been bothering me recently.
I learned a life lesson last week. I knew it was important to provide context when you interact with people, but given the COVID situation where everything happens mostly by text, it became even more apparent to me just how important it is. Skipping introductions is a problem when people don't meet in person.
There was one time when I was asked to do something, and I went beyond what was expected of me, doing it wrong in the end. That was mostly a protocol issue (I wasn't aware of it). In the end, I apologized providing feedback on why it happened. And thinking about it, my colleague apologized back for not reaching out to me as well, since he criticized me for doing incorrectly something I could not know how to do in the first place.
Then I saw more mistakes from others happen due to lack of coordination. And then, I made that same mistake myself, when I asked someone to review something I had done without providing the context of why it was done that way. This resulted in me being stuck in the middle of two contradictory instructions, since that person didn't like what I did at all, which was exactly what was requested beforehand.
That in itself wasn't so bad, what was bad was the way the interaction went. It's taken me all the patience and care I could muster to put my ego aside and get the job done while getting bashed along the way, despite making no mistake. The net result was an improvement, but it also resulted in me not wanting to interact with the same people ever again. Imagine being told to do something, asking for review, being deflected back to someone else who tells you to delete your work without consideration. It was sorted out because I kept my cool, but I didn't enjoy any of it.
For most people, I'd say, they just forget about it and move on. However, I also believe it is a fact that some people are more sensitive than others, especially when it comes to injustice. That's why I wanted to write about it. Gifted people can be more sensitive than others, and for me it's a stress to have to deal with people who don't care, because they aren't emotionally affected as much as I can be.
Other people also don't understand why it is hard for you to let go. But the truth is, the pain is there, the emotions won't disappear no matter how hard you try. And if you have to point out to someone what they have done, ultimately you feel like they don't even care about what they do to others. Sometimes, it is unavoidable, because some people are narcissists, they can not actually care about others unless it benefits them.
This happened times and times again in my life, but I was surprised last week when I realized that I had made a mistake in the first place. Not in the work itself, but in the communication. If I had made the effort to tell the other person what was going on, that person would have had a different mindset and attitude towards what was presented to them. I wrongly assumed that any engineer faced with a task, in a context that they don't know enough about, would either ask questions or do the necessary research and read about the subject.
After realizing what I had to do to avoid future unpleasant situations, I started to calm down, and the pain, while still present, was slowly fading away. There was a way out, whereas before I couldn't see one. There mere thought of having this happen again was daunting. Anxiety and paranoia can be a serious problem for a hyperactive brain. Study the life of Robert James Fischer, former chess world champion, and you'll get what I mean. Excerpt from The trouble genius of Bobby Fischer:
But Bobby Fischer was a troubled genius. He dropped out of sight after winning the 1972 World Championship against Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union. Today, he is better known as a paranoid recluse whose frequent anti-Semitic and anti-American rants drove away friends and angered the U.S. government.
I have been in an international company before that pretented to be inclusive. It was litteraly printed on the walls! But when faced with the exposure of internal deviant behaviors, there was no longer acceptance and understanding. People will say that you are crazy and that you should seek psychological advice, when in fact, they did something wrong to you, but don't want to accept the fact that they can be just as faulty as you. Especially if you are a bit different, you must be the problem, not them. Thankfully, the COVID situation limits interactions, so it's much safer for me today.
That's all what I wanted to share with you. If you are overly sensitive and have difficulties coping with unjust situations, realize that there may be a way to orchestrate people into being nicer with you by providing context. If they are genuinely good people, they will make an effort to understand and act accordingly. If they are not good people, cut them off, for your own well-being.
Thank you for reading me, have a wonderful day