October 2, 2003
This may or may not go against my decision never to talk about Brady again, but I think I can justify it as something that's still a problem today, so here goes.
While I was talking to my former co-worker earlier in the week, she mentioned that working at Brady tends to have a bad effect on people. Since I haven't had anything else for my brain to work on at home lately, I've been processing this for a couple days now.
She's right. I see where I do three different things related to my work that I really shouldn't do. And I'm pretty sure I can trace at least one of them back to my old job. The other two were already there, I think, and were just exacerbated by my 2½ years there.
I get defensive when I'm criticized. And it's not just negative criticisms either, I get pissy if someone doesn't phrase a positive criticism the right way. I remember doing that from time to time when I was in ROTC, but I start up almost at the drop of a hat sometimes. So far I've been lucky enough not to do it at work, but this client work I'm doing is with a friend of mine and I'm not exactly being professional about it.
Yes, this person is my friend and knows I'm not being a jerk (well, not any more than usual) but I still shouldn't be doing that. Just take the damn critique, analyze it and discuss. But somehow I manage to let things turn into a pissing contest. Odd thing is, I usually only act that way when I expect to get chewed out, which definitely isn't happening here. Can't explain it, but I would like to fix it.
I'm way too stubborn. I'll grant you that I was arrogant before I started working at Brady, but the "fine" art of steamrolling people I learned from John. All that stuff about communication and compromise? Forget it. I can be extremely conciliatory when I'm not 100% sure, but once I'm convinced I'm right, I might as well be having a religious argument. This is probably yet another reason people don't like talking politics with me.
And now the one that really bothers me. It's kind of tied to the "steamrolling" thing, but I let my temper show way too easily. Again, it comes out more on the freelance project than on the job, and my friend knows not to take offense, but I feel like the King of All Assholes when I do it. I used to be so much better at staying calm, but now I just opt for being a bastard. Wonderful.
Well, there you have it. Three stupid things that, when I do them all at once, I refer to as "being in John Mode." Not the worst or most noticable of my flaws, but the ones that are bothering me the most at the moment. Spotting them was easy enough. Fixing them's gonna be a bitch.
Note, 10/10/03: Got an e-mail from my sister this morning about this. Apparently I've had these things all along. Well, I s'pose my family would know best :) It does seem that they've been brought closer to the surface though.