succumbing to peer pressure

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Low Maintenance*

I can't remember if the director ever explicitly said this, but back when I was in Footlighters, and was cast in a certain show, I remember discussing with some other friends that my limited talent was probably balanced out by the fact that I could be counted on to show up to rehearsals on time, follow direction, and pitch in where needed. My friends said those skills were definitely not discounted or unnoticed by directors. It's nice to have people on the team on whom you can rely to just get stuff done and get along.

Prior to today, that's the only time I can recall that those particular aspects of my personality were specifically noted and appreciated. I don't mean to tell this story in a self-deprecating way, or to imply that I don't appreciate those aspects of me (and truth be told, I think others do too, it's just not typically the sort of thing we bother to point out and praise).

But things have been a bit tough at work lately. There are some transitions happening and people are feeling emotionally and professionally stressed out and everything will work out in the end, but this is a rough patch. And of course, rough patches are even more noticeable with everyone in town and in close quarters for our retreat. And in my one-on-one catch-up with my boss today, he made a point of saying that he had noticed that I haven't been a problem this week. That's not to say I'm a sheep, or that my co-workers are problems. But he noticed, and appreciated, that I had stayed on topic, contributed succinctly and appropriately to team discussions, and (because he's kind of sensitive) that during long days my body language** conveyed un-stressed-but-paying-attention.

I guess I'm just saying that it was incredibly gratifying, especially given what work has been like lately, to be explicitly praised for getting shit done while, mostly, disengaging from the emotional muck that we're currently working through. I do think this is a particular skill of mine, and I have no idea how I would describe it if, heaven forbid, I ever got that awful interview question about strengths and weaknesses, but it was nice that the boss noticed, and told me he noticed. Today was a good day.

*My Dad has a running joke wherein he likes to refer to me as the worst kind of woman (according to When Harry Met Sally) - the kind who thinks she's low maintenance, but is in fact high maintenance. I *think* this is just a joke...I'm not really high maintenance, am I? Would any of you tell me if I was?

**maybe that's a weird thing for a boss to notice, but like I said, it's been a rough patch, and definitely looking around the room these past few days there have been some people clearly clenching their jaws and/or fists and otherwise conveying frustration/anger/etc. And hey, people are certainly entitled to be feeling that way right now...but other people are equally entitled to find it annoying, unpleasant, and unproductive.

Third Floor Espresso has officially been added to my hypothetical Dublin itinerary. Thanks boingboing!

(at this point, I should practically just have a twitter account, right? /shudders)

Sunday, July 11, 2010


That's all for now. I've gone on 3 trips in the past 3 weeks (two for me, one for work) and my company retreat starts tomorrow. More when my brain is my own again.