Musings from George

Manners and polite society
January 15, 2009, 5:22 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dogs make it simple — when they meet you, they size you up and they let you know what they think of you. They may growl, they may seek shelter, they may just turn and walk away. But you know pretty much immediately how your interview went. Tails wag or teeth bare, dog-smiles or growls come forth, and the relationship is pretty much set.

I wish it were that easy in our jobs. We play nice with people who wish us ill, we avoid the people who blame others for any of their failings or mistakes, we smile when we run into people we were avoiding. We dance around the topic when we know people aren’t getting their jobs done, and we skate around any limitation or liability that may impair someone else’s capabilities. We are anything BUT honest.

So I’m wrestling with a relationship at work that is really causing me to disengage, to work less hard and to ignore some requests. It is very hard for me to distance my reaction from the person, to separate the job from the relationship. At some level I wish I could just growl at the person, to bare my teeth and say “F*** you!” as only an animal can do. But I don’t, because I was raised to hold the door open for anyone behind me and to stand on the bus if ANYONE else doesn’t have a seat (not just pregnant women, but pretty much anyone less capable than I am … and I probably think I am more capable than I am). So, I tolerate others’ non-performance and I pretend to appreciate criticisms or judgments that I believe to be baseless. Does that make me phony? or is it a requirement to be successful in the world today, where we will (and have to) interact with others of varying capabilities.

I am thrilled to see the ascendancy of a very smart man to be President, and am also proud to say that my vote was color-blind and my children are without question color-blind. They go to a pre-school that we POSITIVELY refer to as the United Nations, where every color and religion is present and the teachers reflect the diversity of the students. I wish I had been able to live in the world our kids live in today.

The dogs are really, truly, wonderful. We are happy to be where we are, and appreciate the luck and hard work that got us here.



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