J.D returns after three weeks absence with an apology, as well as an insight into how work can make one dilly. Is he being silly? Answer: cats!
I’m sorry I haven’t written in awhile. Work, work work, has just been so hectic.
It’s good to be busy, but there’s also a point where it’s a bit much. Long nights. Long days. Waking up in a malaise. Work work. Work work work. We’re down a person at the office. They left because of personal politics. Which I personally make an effort to keep out of.
It’s highly advisable. I believe, and this is just my opinion, that people tend to be drawn to politics. Oooh! So Juicy!
This may be an evolutionary thing. As a species, we survived best in groups where we have the latest information. Translation: gossip.
But gossip is not good for the soul. I’ve personally found it colours my perception of people. And, at work, I’ve had it coloured both sides. One or the other person bitching about the other. If I took it at face value, heck, I’d see Satan everywhere I looked.
What keeps me sane is remembering that we are all, ultimately, frail. Frail like little frail, frightened chicklings that have fallen out the nest. We have these protective mechanisms designed to make us feel (and thus act) strong. Like the thinking process that leads to me thinking: the person dissing me is inherently a failure / weak / corrupt / disgusting / a piece of genetic machinery that mutated into flawed spawn.
People, generally, are people.
With their own issues.
Some, like a certain bearded creative director warrior*, are more stable than most. Many are not. You’re probably not. Sorry for judging you, though I don’t know you, but I reckon you’ve many scaffolding ideas that help you interpret the world – and its people – in a specific way to help you cope with, essentially, the feeling of being ultimately powerless.
Which we are. That’s Step 1.
At work, I negotiate carefully. With a precise smile. And a delicate question, such as, “how was your weekend with your [visiting from afar] mother?”
We are always careful, aren’t we? Not to offend, not to create unnecessary enemies. For one thing, even if I’m over-capacity work-wise, I will default to taking on more work from the boss or a colleague. There’s nothing more passive-aggressive than ‘no’ in the workplace.
You’re not a “team player”. You open yourself up to gossip. Resentment.
How do I deal with it?
It used to be cat. I used cat to cope with the pressure. Now? It’s cats. My cats. I have them on video. Thanks to wi-fi camera technology, whenever I “need a moment”, I click the app on my phone, and “phone home”, to watch my beautiful babies. I even talk to them. There’s this function, where you activate the microphone.
“Maaaxiiiine, where are you, my Maaaaaxine..?”
This beautiful black cat comes running, into camera view. Looking for me. I feel a bit bad. She misses me. But I get to see gorgeous her, and it makes me feel… balanced. I love the reminder that life isn’t all office politics. That it means more than that.
People are difficult. Even those we love most. Sometimes, those we love most.
Cats… cats keep me centred.
The fragility of human psychology in the workplace is best navigated by having a ‘happy place’.
No matter how hectic my day, my cats are my happy place.
*Captain, my captain. You tolerated my self-made cat videos with patience and an easy smile. I would follow you into Hell.