Thursday, 28 May 2009

Smack Down

Today was a dire day... Things reached a head with the Little Princess, or rather they reached a head yesterday and Boss decided to step in today. Unfortunately her method of dealing with the situation was to sit us in the same room and get us to talk. I think this was a very uncomfortable experience for everyone except the Boss themselves.

Basically the Little Princess feels I am rude and bossy and abrupt and I feel she lacks responsibility and doesn't work very hard. I actually feel the situation between us was in fact started by my Boss. She doesn't overly like personnel issues and when the Little Princess started she passed over all responsibility to me, not that I wanted it. I know I am not good as a boss and never, ever want to be one.... She even asked me to get her not to use her mobile in work and to chivvy her along on occasions....

The thing is Little Princess and I share a job, we have the same tasks and the same duties. If she doesn't write notes and makes little effort to learn the job, I am placed in the position of having to remind her what to do or do it myself. I feel she has been overly reliant on me and letting me do all the hard work but she hasn't liked the instruction. As I have become more frustrated with her for not remembering stuff and taking any responsibility, it is possible my feelings have become more apparent.

But what do you do when someone has had to take part in preparing for a report for ten weeks but can sit there in a meeting and claim she didn't know it was a priority. She then turned round and got stroppy about how I am obviously very clever but she can't be expected to pick things up as quick as me. I know I reminded her about prioritising the report before I went on holiday, so I know she has been told.

I know yesterday I may have been rude but I do not feel that if we have the same responsibilities that she should not be able to do some of the task and then decide she is going before it is all finished. I also do not feel that I should have to be the one to consider the fact that we had to make sure one of was there to cover the lunch but still get our papers elsewhere in the building. By leaving she put me in a position where I had to leave it uncovered. I had also pointed out to her that we needed to cover it and how we could do it, earlier on and she hadn't disagreed with me.

She also basically said that the more pissed off she got with me, the less work she did.... My Boss didn't make any issue of it! I felt as if the meeting had basically been set up to build her up and knock me down. It isn't my fault I am clever but so often in my life, I have been put down for it. People assume that because I am clever and capable that I am also confident and self-secure but those things do not go together! I think I have stumbled on the root of my personal issues with the Little Princess....

My sister is older than me. She grew up quiet and shy whereas I was naturally outgoing, although that got knocked out of me to a large extent in my teens. I was better at school, not just a little bit, but quite a lot. She was better at getting what she wanted and much, much better at charming people that she set her mind to.

My parents reaction to all this was to vow to treat us equally. Very nice really but how do actually go about it? I did pretty well at school and won a lot of prizes, from progress in gym, reading cup, music prize and academic prizes. None of my achievements were ever discussed openly and certainly never in front of my sister. No one else seemed to value them and I didn't either.

What made this difficult for me was that I had changed schools at 7 and been accidentally put up a year. The school decided I was behind (well duh! *laugh*) and put me in all the special lessons going. I grew up thinking I was thick and all my valueless prizes never convinced me otherwise. When I got my GCSE results at 16 it surprised me that others didn't have the grades I did. I expected everyone to do as I did and I mean that completely.

It isn't anyones fault. Nobody can really know what goes on inside a teenagers head. The teenager themselves won't figure it out until many years have passed! This however has continued.... My Sister from time to time feels a little uncomfortable by my success (in a limited academic sense... I am not successful career wise! *laugh*). My Mum being the eternal diplomate that she is, tries to even things out, much as my Boss tried to today.

During my degree, during my mid to late twenties, my sister began to feel uncomfortable, again. One of the disciplines of Environmental Science was one she had trained in. It was her thing, not mine. It wasn't the area I found easiest and my Mum asked me to play up on that during my next call tomy sister. My sister provided me with the perfect opening to say I found it harder and she asked me if I thought I was going to fail.... Now, I was a looong way from failing anything. I got a first. I found that subject harder and probably averaged a 2:1 in it. My sister probably to this day thinks I nearly failed it. I didn't like my Mum much for asking this of me and I vowed to never, ever let her ask such a thing again....

I hate that being a clever woman feels like such a problem! It isn't my fault I was born this way! I honestly don't believe men are made to feel guilty for being clever. Thing is, I know enough about intelligence in all it's forms and how little my intelligence has so far helped me have a bright and successful life to not place as much value on it as others seem to. F is not academic, at all, he is interpersonal intelligence all the way. And it is intelligence. I envy him this sometimes. Now his intelligence DOES help him have a bright and happy life!

I think having to work with me on the same job and with the same expectations and responsibilities (supposedly) exposes the Little Princesses feelings of inadequacy, just as her reaction to me and my bosses reaction to the situation exposes my sensitivity of being knocked down to build others up. Thing is, I don't think either of us got what we wanted from the meeting, it is a band aid on a festering sore. I shall never like or trust her and she will never like me, I have no idea about trust *laugh*. Thing is my Boss should have prevented the sore from forming and she should have gently lanced it with a little careful mediating in a subtle fashion, instead she hit it with a hammer.

I could say so much more about it all. To be fair, I have already gotten much, much more personal than I wanted to get on my blog but hey, it's my blog and this is what I want to write about today. Following on from the decision to see about changing job, today has made me harden my resolve to do this. My boss did make a point of saying that she can always depend on me to get the job done and pull it out of the fire and she can trust me to do it all without needing her but again just a little patch on the wound.

Well with any luck, I will be gone soon and then the Little Princess will have to be responsible, ready or not.... The thought of that makes me happy and I know it shouldn't.... Because I don't think she is ready and I know that even at her best she can't get through the work like me. I know that with a new replacement, freshly trained, making mistakes and requiring her to take time to check their work, she just doesn't stand a chance. I know I shouldn't gloat..... It isn't pretty.

Which all leaves me with the sure knowledge that I have to delve into my own feelings of inadequacy and I have to learn to truly own my own abilities and stop keep playing them down and not using them because they make others feel uncomfortable. Maybe that is at the heart of why I am fairly unsuccessful in life....

If anybody actually gets to end of my, er, post, PLEASE leave a comment, any comment....


  1. Oh my Dearest One - sorry, I had missed this one last night...but here I am!!

    Firstly (((hugs)).

    Your boss is a sucky one. There was no evidence of mediation or mitigation there AT ALL and never has been. That was one giant bollocks of a meeting, and as you said, solved nothing but perhaps further deepened the bad feeling between you two..and now, possibly, three. I know I couldn't have much respect for a supervisor who is so poorly skilled in managing her employees.

    Sadly, it seems that things are unlikely to change. It is incredibly frustrating to be competent and intelligent and conscientious in an atmosphere where that isn't valued. Been there, done that. It just breeds resentment. And anger....for me, a lot of the frustration was directed at myself because I was completely incapable of slacking off. My work ethic runs deep and I simply could not do a 'bad job'. That's just me, and by the sounds of it, you. Obviously, some people don't have that particular handicap. *grin*

    Core issue here though, is exactly what you've delved into. I agree, it isn't easy being clever...although I wasn't always the cleverest I could hold my own. I spent most of my early school years, and into much of high school (I had a friend who was INCREDIBLY intelligent - she got a full scholarship to a grand university with her *perfect* scores so I was nowhere near as clever as her) dumbing things down and downplaying my marks -- because, at some point, I'd been told that it was considered rude and impolite to 'lord it over' other people with my successes - not that I did, merely the mention of a high mark was apparently enough to be considered gloating.

    I hadn't thought until now, how much that has affected the rest of my life. The fact that I can't attach 'value' and 'worth' to the things I've done. That I struggle to say "Hey! I"m good at that".....

    All in the name of protecting others from feeling inadequate....stupid, huh?

    Ivan Illich's book talks about valuing people for varied intelligences...that we should be learning from the woman who weaves the best cloth and the man who can build the best birdhouse or the group that can organize the most successful fundraiser...rather than focus on abstracts like a spelling test or an algebraic equation. There's a point in there about placing the value on the *real* things..that way no-one will feel inadequate because we all excel at the brainy folk can be free and comfortable to excel in brainy things and the plumber can be free and comfortable excel in his soldering - each has equal, but different, value.

    A bit socialist perhaps but....

    HA! And you wanted a comment...well, I gave you a short essay...

    ~much love~

    PS I shall send some job-finding "energy" your way....*wink*

    PPS This post may have been more personal than you wanted, but your working through this issue has helped me shine some light on some crap of my own -- a valuable gift...thank you! xo

  2. Thank you honey... I do suspect that this is an issue one way or another for many, many people. Either because they have been beaten over the head with not being clever enough (for who?) or because they have had to dumb down... Society has an odd reaction to this. Today was much better...

  3. comment... well you said.... lol

  4. "I hate that being a clever woman *FEELS* like such a problem!"

    Methinks you two have just about got it sussed... cos it's not a problem in itself. Now you realise where it stems from, you can work on healing the damage done by other peoples comments & attitudes & building a pride in your Self & your gifts... then USE them in a way that is more 'you' instead of putting yourself in situations that reinforce the dumbed-down view of yourself.

    Totally agree about different intelligences mel... in an ideal world... but i don't see why we cant value everyones individuals talents (me & sue were just talking about this) the world needs crap-shovellers as much as brain-surgeons & each should be valued as worthy jobs & each should be able to be proud of what they do.

    being proud of talent or achievement is not about pulling someone else down because they don't share it... oh another essay on its way... gonna stop there cos i just keep thinking of something else!!

    positive vibes on their way x

  5. Thank you for making me laugh hun! I don't get why people value some intelligences more than others... For instance a good fork lift driver can easily earn more than me - they have spatial and bodily intelligences. I think the focus on academia is a way of funneling people into offices by convincing them that they are better than others elsewhere by being in the office and having an office makes them important and then only those who have really strong other intelligences get to do the other stuff without being diluted by those daft enough to sit in offices.... This is only a theory and possibly a little random one not based on any facts!