Friday, January 28, 2022

The criticism


In the course of something I would describe as a fight with my long time manager, somewhere in the hottest fire of it, my manager said that many, many times over the years people had complained to him about me not doing a lot of work.

I found this very upsetting. Challenged on this nugget of information my manager has sat on for a quarter of a century, he said they didn't complain, per se, but it had been often mentioned.

This is very different!

Nevertheless the initial feeling it gives me is that I work with a team of vipers! 

But upon reflection I can recognize that the people who would say such a thing about me are not the people who I would consider to do much work myself, or that I would particularly respect as people or co-workers.

And upon further reflection I would also have to say:

Maybe I don't do that much work.


  1. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. I find it difficult to quantify "work." There are things that need to be done to keep an organization functioning; some of them involve activities that are visible, others are more behind the scenes. Some are more obvious than others. "Shelving a cart of books" is obvious. "Solve a problem for a patron" is less obvious, and some managers wouldn't know this sort if it bit them. I suspect that you strive to do your share of the obvious tasks and far more than your share of those less quantifiable. As far as I'm concerned, just seeing that you are at the service desk when I come in, and I might be able to exchange some chat with you, made the day a bit brighter. That's not "work" on your part, but it matters.''

    As a teenager I worked as a library page. One of my main jobs was shelving, and this allowed me to go into the "adult" section of the stacks. I was very fast at shelving...and that bought me time to get a bit of an education from books I would no be allowed to check out. I got done what was assigned to me; if I could have done 50% more in the two hours I worked after school...well, that just never came up.

    1. Thank you for this. I appreciate it.

      It is terrible and unfortunate that people I neither respect nor regard can so hurt my sense of self and my firm beliefs in the world.


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