Just Keep Swimming, Just keep Swimming

This week has me slowly shuffling up a hill, hands in my pockets; all pouty and jealous every time Sisyphus runs down past me. That guy is a lucky jerk. He only has one stupid boulder to worry about, while I have two very different ropes to kick up this hill.

I am in the middle of training two new temps to take over my job. Each of these temps has her own special qualities that make me grind my teeth into nothing.

The first knows more than anyone reading this blog will ever know and will offer this knowledge at the first sign of an opening. My frustration bubbled over when she complained for the fourth time in a day that she doesn’t believe the building’s “industrial recycling policy”, which led me to snap “Yes, here we all hate the environment, but can you please set up lunch?”. This was not my winning-est moment.

 But as the week goes on and my ego becomes less and less intertwined with my job here, I am able to shrug off these jabs and let go. Each task she wants to claim and itemize is one less thing for me to worry about. The Excel Spreadsheet is her god and I am happy lay offerings at the entrance to her temple.

The other temp was born, if not yesterday, very recently. She is a sweet girl, brand new to the city. I fear she will not survive her first full week in finance. In two days, I have already received two tearfully apologetic paragraph-long emails apologizing for shortcomings.

After a run through or dress rehearsal of a play, the cast sits down with the director(s) and listens to each observation made during the show. These are, rightfully, called “notes.” Cast and crew members alike hear lots of corrections and criticisms during this time. Everyone hates the person who feels the need to challenge each note. In a professional setting, everyone will stay quiet, totally annoyed that they can’t get home to their loved ones and DVRs. In an educational or community theater setting, someone may eventually snap and yell out “Take the note!”, to the great relief of everyone involved in the production.

I am eternally grateful to my acting background, because I understand the person-pleasing instincts of this sweet young temp. I have felt all the manic feelings she’s dumped onto me in her emails. I have wanted to earnestly tell each person who has trained me how good I’m going to be at the job once I really get settled in. But as I head into my own first week at a new job, I will remember that no one wants to hear or have to validate that. People expect you will get better; that’s why they bother giving you the note in the first place.


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