March 21, 2011 § 2 Comments
There is a woman at my job that I’ll call Marie. She is an extreme talker and the majority of what comes out of her mouth is absolute non-sense. If given the chance, she would talk to you for hours and you wouldn’t be able to get any work done. Since I’m aware of Marie’s personality, I’ve set boundaries with her on how we interact. I did this for two reasons: 1) I have daily, weekly, and monthly deadlines that I have to meet therefore I don’t have time to sit around and randomly chit-chat with people. 2) I don’t want to waste any time listening to someone speak a bunch of incoherent non-sense. I exchange the normal pleasantries with Marie such a good morning or have a good day. I also answer work related questions and I help her out in any way that I can. However, I will not engage her in personal conversation. Whenever she starts going on and on with her gibberish, I politely tell her that I’m busy with a deadline and that I don’t have time to talk.
Recently, another co-worker came to me and started complaining about Marie and how she was always interrupting this co-worker when she was busy and would talk for long periods of time. I told her about how I only interact with Marie on work related issues and that I politely tell her I have a deadline whenever she starts trying to talk my ear off. I suggested that maybe she could use the same strategy whenever Marie was bothering her when she was busy. My co-worker immediately dismissed my suggestion and told me that “she didn’t want to mean to Marie”.
I was surprised that my co-worker thought my suggestion was mean and it made me think about boundaries. I feel that people think of setting boundaries with another person as something negative or mean but I feel it a positive part of any relationship. Maybe it’s because I’m more introverted and I need to manage my energy levels, but I’ve always had boundaries when it comes to dealing with my family, friends, and the people I work with. I need a lot of alone time and I’m very clear with people about that. They know that I’m not the type of person that you can just randomly show up to my apartment and that I don’t always answer my phone. In this situation, I needed to establish a way for Marie and I to be able to communicate effectively as co-workers but it needed to be in a way in which I wasn’t constantly being interrupted with her needless chatter.
In the end, I feel like I’m handling the situation the best way I can. Marie knows that she can approach me for work matters but she also knows that I don’t have time for personal chit-chat. I’m able to maintain a positive relationship with her and I’m able to get my work done and meet my deadlines. As for my co-worker that complained…she’s still being constantly interrupted by Marie.
March 10, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Recently, I’ve been feeling more inspired to write while I’m at work. This is strange because my job is the least creative or inspiring place. I spend most days looking at spreadsheets and concentrating on numbers to make sure everything balances. There is a complexity to the processes I have to follow and attention to detail is key. I’ve become disciplined in not letting my mind wander. Since I’m so focused on my tasks, there isn’t time for creative thought.
Yet, my mind is rebelling. Every morning I seem to be full of ideas and I find myself quickly writing them down. These ideas inspire me and I have a strong desire to write. Sadly, it isn’t possible for me to do this and there are many times when I feel that I miss opportunities to write something beautiful.
I wonder if these moments are happening more often at work as a way to refresh me and to help me to feel positive. I must admit that these ideas are welcomed and they seem to help relieve the stress that I feel during the day. I’m also wondering if in a strange way my job is my muse. It’s an interesting thought and my job seems to be the place where I’m suddenly the most creative. I’ve never thought of my muse as being the place where I work but I’ve decided to accept this and to enjoy the moments of creativity it brings.