On Professionalism

This post is a make-up for Wednesday’s post. I’ve had some hardships this week that I’ll talk more about in my weekly reflection tomorrow. That’s why Wednesday’s post is today, today’s post will be tomorrow, and by Sunday I should be back on schedule.

I wanted to touch on the topic of professionalism. I can tell you completely honestly that finding a balance with professionalism has been a true struggle for me ever since my first internship six and a half years ago. You see, I want to be friends with the people I work with, but more often than not I work with people that I probably wouldn’t be friends with. And so begins the struggle. I want to look forward to going to work, but end up finding myself awkwardly interacting with my coworkers. And though I have been awkward for most of my life, being awkward is not something I look forward to on a daily basis.

Well, I’m not really sure what happened with me at this new job that I started almost two months ago now, but it’s been a total 180. I think it’s either because the team I’m on is so small or because of a desire to live up to my manager’s expectations and be able to work with anyone, but within my team I have had no issues of awkwardness. At least none that are my doing. That being said, I think instead of finding a balance, I ended up overcompensating for awkwardness and going too far towards friendliness.

I need to stop speaking vaguely. What this comes down to, is the other day my boss told me something that must have disappointed me because my response to him was “Oh poops.” Yes, that’s right blog-reading audience, I said poops to my boss. And though he’s nice and Canadian and has his own weird things (like how he pronounces projects with a long o sound) none of that makes saying poops to him ok. And though he’s nice and Canadian, even he couldn’t keep a reflex reaction off his face that said something along the line of an amused “what the fuck?!” And as I walked away, a halo of the smiling poop pile emojis moves slowly around the head like I was a cartoon.

So what did I do? Nothing. And looking back I think that was the right thing to do. We all have slip ups of one type or another. Hopefully none of you ever say poops to your boss, but you might say something else and question yourself later. What this experience has taught me, what doing nothing about it later taught me, is the freedom that comes with not reliving a scenario over and over in my head (oh anxiety ridden readers, what is the phrase that I’m looking for here?).

This week my mom talked to me about how frustrated she is with herself for always doing this (the phrase in Hebrew is chewing the cud. I guess ruminating is almost right but not quite dramatic enough). She considers and reconsiders a situation and all the ways she might have insulted someone. I’m often guilty of this too. I know a lot of my friends are guilty of this. One once described to me how when she would go to bed instead of going to sleep her brain would take the opportunity to go through all the things she did wrong that day.

To be honest, though I always tell my friends and my mom to just STOP doing this, to make the choice and just shut their brain up, I didn’t consciously choose to succeed in this this week. It kind of took me a second to register that I had said poops to my boss. By the time I realized I had alreayd walked away and I saw the awkwardness of going back. But because I didn’t go back to apologize and try to make things right, I let the realization pass through my brain and exit it. It had nothing to go back to. It was something that happened, and in not trying to fix it, I accepted that it just happened.

So maybe that’s the tip, accept the fact you’re human, you’re going to make mistakes, realize them and let them go instead of trying to fix them. Especially something like saying poops. Hopefully my boss totally forgot about it. Or better remembered it long enough to have a quick laugh with his wife about it when he went home and then forgot about it.

Poops and out!

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