Friday, July 4, 2008

Being Mean 'Aint Fun

This is not a makeup-related you if you're here solely for my makeup tuts/reviews, don't bother reading this, you'll just want three minutes of your life back :p This is an honest rant about my recent attitude at work...and I'm not proud of it. I just wanted to put it out there, so we can all reflect on our own shortcomings.

Recently a new guy joined my team at work. He's from India, speaks fluent Japanese and English, knows his Cisco stuff. He is probably a lot more intelligent than fifty percent of the people on my floor including the senior engineers, but he doesn't get the credit. Why? Because he's not Japanese? Because he's darker than the rest of the bunch? I don't know. Maybe deep in the crevices of our souls we feel threatened by smart people, regardless of their aesthetics.

Anyway, I can tell this guy is BORED OUT OF HIS F*CKIN' MIND. Mind you, if you fall asleep in front of seven monitors with speakers, and the phones constantly ringing off the hook, it's not because you're lazy or pathetic. It's because you can't STAND being there.

It took me a few weeks to realize this. During those few weeks, I tried to teach him how to log into routers, check configurations, memorize passwords, write grammatically sound e-mails, and talk to Japanese clients on the phone without offending them (mind you, that is a difficult feat, but once you master it, you'll be bowing in your seat while on the phone, teehee).

He wouldn't take notes. His beady eyes were always half-closed. He never remembered the passwords I tried to shove down his throat. I lost my patience. I felt it was HIS fault for not wanting to learn and improve. I started to give him the cold shoulder. I would criticize his mistakes. I was a BITCH. I was plain rude to the poor guy.

I would go home, angry that he fell asleep at his desk again, or because he talked back to me. I would whine to my boyfriend, "WHYYYY does he not want to leeeearrrn? Whyyyy is his attitude so shitty?" And then I'd go back to work the next day and continue the vicious cycle of cattiness.

But today, I got SICK of my own attitude. Quite literally. I came back from an early lunch sick to my stomach. I must've scared a few ladies in the restroom. Anyhow, every time the guy would ask me a question, and I gave him wry look, I felt even sicker. My stomach would churn, and squeal in pain and I'd have to get up and run down the hall again...(gross, I know.)

What happened next? This afternoon, after he talked to some manager from my company about his general attitude, he came back with a whole new outlook. He picked up the phone, made calls, sent e-mails, chased down managers to discuss network issues. Funny how one possibly positive pep talk can boost morale...I could've done that for him...I could've been that person to help him like his job a teeny bit more...but I was mean. I was unreasonable.

As the day went by and my nausea worsened, he started talking to me aimlessly, about the dramatic rescue of sixteen (?) captives in Colombia, which was blaring on the TV monitors on our walls. He compared that with the war in the Gaza Strip. I compared that with the war in Afghanistan. Then he started gabbing about the reasonable prices and plans for the iPhone, which is FINALLY coming out in Japan on July 11th. We talked to each other like equals. We laughed like we were colleagues that went way back. We shared a moment of decency.

My contempt melted away, and so did my exasperation. I feel horrible, for my selfishness and closed-mindedness...He decided to step up and be the better person, when my colleagues and I could have spent more time teaching him the ropes. Our excuses were always the same. "We're the busiest section here", "He talks back too much", "There are too many outages today".

Moral of the story is this: Make the extra effort to be nice to the new person and see him or her through. Don't be nice just on their first day. Don't give up on them even if they don't show interest or immediate improvement. I'm going to start Supervisor training this month...I hope I can be a fair, honest, reliable and FUN supervisor to work with. 'Cause if not, WHAT'S THE POINT OF HAVING A COOL JOB LIKE MINE? I get to work with people from all around the globe. I get to fix International network outages. I get to talk to engineers in Hong Kong, Germany, New York, Africa and more, ALL THE TIME. I save my clients billions of yen/dollars. I keep them in touch with the rest of the world. I make sure they can stream YouTube videos while they work overtime, LOL.

Being mean 'aint fun, and being selfless takes immense effort. So keep it simple, just be nice. That way you'll save yourself a lot trips to the restroom too ;p


Nic Nic said...

you've made some good points, but dont be too hard on yourself - i think anyone would react like that if that person was acting like that. But at least you saw him through at the end! :)

just a personal question you don't have to answer, what kind of work do you do? sounds very intriguing!

fuzkittie said...

That's a good reminder! I try really hard not to be a hater at work (and I don't try at all in life, haha), but I guess I can still be nicer and give people more chances~

But at least in this case, the guy is actually competent and smart~ sometimes people are just plain hopeless.

Aya said...

Nic Nic: I try to be fair when it comes to work. I hate being the asshole that everyone hates to work with...FYI I work at an International carrier. We manage domestic and international data transmission lines . I will stop here with the boring IT lingo, we're just messengers and novice network engineers. Nothing glamorous at all. (-__-)

Fuz: Buahahahahahahaha!!!!! LMAO at "sometimes people are just plain hopeless." I would love working with you I think.

Tammy M said...

I see where you are coming from, but it is a two way street! I just look at it this way: no one has the power over me to change ME, the way I am. Be true to yourself and your heart, and the rest will follow...
But then again, some people are just "special"...they get what they give.

Emilee @ GMM said...

Don't be too hard on yourself! It's not really your fault that you didn't know he didn't like the job; what matters is that once you found out, you made an effort and that's what counts the most. :)

Alyssa said...

I know this is out of the blue, but did you work for Cisco when you were in Cali? San Jose area to be exact?

alien man?! said...

good read and good perspective. i wish i were more self-aware like that. thanks for sharing this :)

Gee said...

Very well said Aya!

(g)ezebel said...

*agrees with everyone else*

although, i kinda enjoy being mean every once in awhile. *winks*

jie jie said...

You shouldn't pressure yourself like that. You could have been more patient like you said, but what he might have needed was a good talk from the higher-ups.

I have a colleague from India also, who thought he's better than everyone else. So he wouldn't take down notes no matter how many times I advised him to do so (like so many other things). He's smart, no doubt about that, but of course without notes, he ends up asking about things he should know by now. When it comes down to working, his personality works against him. Something like, he wouldn't go beyond than what he thinks his job description is because he couldn't care less about others, the team or customers.

Aya said...

Alyssa: I wish I worked for Cisco...If they are hiring, will ya let me know? LOL. I lived in San Diego, not San Jose. But my company has a subsidiary office in San Jose, I hope I can work there someday :)