I woke up this morning with pain all over my body.
A different kind of pain from the body aches yesterday post vaccination. For example, I couldn’t swallow – it felt like something was stuck in my rib cage. Anyway, that abated after a while. Then I had a bit of numbness in my left forearm but I think that’s because I slept on it. Then my calves hurt and felt really tight, but I think that was from the 100 or so squats I did two nights ago.
Sigh. It feels like I feel every twinge and ache nowadays but don’t know if it’s age or what.
Well anyway, despite all those niggly aches and pains, I sat at my desk and checked my work notifications and emails then promptly “lost the plot”.
I went berserk.
I had a bit of a “tanty”.
There’s always things that niggle us over time and you let them go on and on but you reach a point where you just need to let loose. I needed to have a good vent. I knew that these things weren’t going to be solved overnight, hell, I could even be part of the problem, so I shared the whinges to my team by writing about them in a Teams channel.
In hindsight, I should have just shut the hell up. Whining adds absolutely nothing to the situation.
I obviously haven’t learned the fine art of sweeping things under the carpet; or keeping a stiff upper lip. After all, I’ve got Mediterranean blood flowing through my veins. I can’t hold it in too long or I’ll explode. You don’t want to see me explode – it isn’t pretty.
Many years ago during my Navy Officer training and after a cabin inspection, I had the audacity to talk when specifically not being invited to by the inspecting officer. Little did I know that was a no no.
The Lieutenant, a red bearded Submarine Officer, looked me in the eyes, then told me while pointing a finger quite close to my eye, “Well Pothoulackis (that was my surname back then), if you don’t have a solution, then you’re part of the problem!”
(That was the same idiot officer who also said “for every vertical there’s a horizontal” after he did the dust test and found the lid of my Preen spray starch can had a bit of liquid in it. All I remember thinking was “this is going to be a good story in the future”). Anyhoo…
I’ll always remember what he said because part of me thinks he’s right.
If I’m not actively thinking of ways to overcome issues and problems then all I’m doing is adding noise. Noise that others may secretly agree with; or alternatively, noise that pisses off everyone. Really, it’s a no win situation.
But geez it felt good.
I think sometimes we just need a good vent. A vent where you know, there is not going to be an answer or a solution straight away. Sometimes, I don’t even want solutions. I just want to be heard because it feels good to express frustration and have people ask more questions or even better, get others to talk it out too.
By doing this, we start to talk, when they do, it starts a conversation, you can ask more questions, you can delve, you can learn to understand. You can then reach a resolution or some common understanding about why it’s like that and you can decide if it’s in your power to control or resolve.
I often wonder if hybrid work now allows us to hide- and be silent – more easily.
Is this a measure of whether work is going well or not I wonder?
Or just workers wanting to be left alone to do what they need to do?
Have we lost something when it comes to human communication – or are we influenced by our circumstances that determine whether we want to communicate or not?
When people or workplaces are silent, or when people don’t communicate with each other, this irks me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been silent. Plenty of times but I reach a point of implosion or explosion. One way I get rid of it is to have a vent or at times, I prod for a reaction. Any reaction. The way I prod, is to do something a bit unexpected or out of the ordinary to what others would usually do for example be overly open, say something that others would not dare to. I know it comes across as naive and a tad child-like but it usually gleans a reaction.
I’ve lost count over the years where people have come up to me afterwards to quietly whisper in my ear…
“Yeah, you shot yourself in the foot with THAT comment!”
“I wouldn’t have said that if I were you.”
“You do realise you’re going to be a target now don’t you?”
“Do me a favour, don’t @ me in your posts.”
And my personal favourite,
“I watch you as a lesson of what not to do online.”
So I get it. The way I write online may be a bit too open or too vulnerable. To some it puts them off – to others they like it.
However, what I’m doing is to garner a reaction – a visible reaction to start a conversation but it doesn’t always come.
So the next thing I do is to directly ask them a question from the point of view of genuinely wanting to know why we are doing things a certain way. That is, I send them a DM or just call them straight away. In yesterday’s case, I wrote to the people involved directly just to ask why we were doing it that way as maybe, I wasn’t aware of the reason why. In these cases, we immediately turned on the camera to speak about it “face to face” and the matter resolved in minutes.
It makes me wonder why we have to go through all this rigmarole. If we were in a physical office, you’d be able to see each other’s body language and then ask them directly if they’re ok. Now, with everything being online, we are using technology to ‘task and tell” people. The niceties of rapport have disappeared so every communication that comes our way seems to be a request, an order, a directive or a task.
I miss the banter, the light heartedness, the laughter with being with others in the workplace and forming bonds where you learned how to read their body language. You also heard about what others were working on because we had the “grapevine” or visiting teams come to our meetings. Or through social events. Or at the kitchen or “water cooler.” There were little to no “surprises” because you would have heard of things way before hand.
Now it seems that we are using technology rather than relating anymore.
That’s why I lost the plot.
I’ve been thinking about this post. You know what I should have done? Just waited. I had a rant, things were resolved because I chased people up for explanations after my rant. Now it’s resolved and it’s water under the bridge. Oh well. I’m such an idiot. 🙄