Difficult People

I had this job a few years ago at a retail store. It was a brand new store that was just being built and my job was to help fill it with merchandise before opening day. It took six weeks to stock the store. Most of that time was in meetings. We had a morning meeting, a before lunch meeting, an after lunch meeting, an afternoon meeting… It was ridiculous. We had meetings to get ready for meetings to prepare for meetings to talk about other meetings. None of these meetings helped put items on the shelves, which was the whole point of us being there. The whole thing seemed very unproductive to me.

I had this other job where there was a massive communication problem, but it was because of the lack of communication. My boss would tell me one thing and I would do it. While I was doing this thing the plan would change and I wouldn’t get informed. Then, I would get copied on a string of emails from my boss and his boss and clients talking about why I had messed up. After this I would get subjected to a “Why are you so stupid” lecture from my boss. Sometimes he would ask how I made it through college being so dumb. I never could explain it. He could never see that the problem was with his lack of communication, not my intelligence.

If only I were clairvoyant like he assumed that I should be. Even then, I’m sure there would still be a problem and somehow it would be my fault.

How do you work with such people? What baffles me even more is that I always seem to get stuck with the extremely difficult ones. Are there that many impossible people or is God trying to teach me something? I’m not certain.

Even when I was in the first grade I was around the impossible children. We had desks that faced each other. We would move them every 4 to 6 weeks. Mine faced the worst child in the world. He was loud and obnoxious all of the time. I was quiet and patient and shy. So, my teacher tortured me by setting me next to him. We changed desks several times and I always ended up with his desk facing mine.

I finally got the courage to ask the teacher why she was torturing me. She said that I was the only person who did not make this child worse. Somehow my being good turned into a punishment for me.

I still can’t make sense of that.

 

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