It’s somewhat ironic that last night I gave a teaching on anger – why we get angry and the antidote to anger, patient acceptance – for today I am so frustrated that my mouth has gotten away from me on a couple of occasions.
As I have mentioned previously, the project lead for the highly visible, very political and way-too-short timeline project I’m on, does not communicate well. And granted, she’s a programmer so I don’t know why I should expect her to be a good communicator. But, she has been put in the position of lead, and I expect leads to be able to, well, lead. Or at the very least to be able to give me what I need to complete what I need to complete, namely the test plan. For over an hour she talked and talk and talked with no one else getting a word in edgewise. I watched as my mind went through the following phases:
Engaged (oh yay! we’re finally discussing the test plans) -> bored (oh, but not MY test plans)-> distracted (Victor has a very nice smile. And good hair. Victor pretty) -> completely checked out (OK, I need to pick up alfalfa and treats for the bunny, a big bag of cat chow for the O’Ferals …) -> antsy (And the point is? It’s lunchtime, lady. Cut to the chase) -> frustrated (is she ever going to get around to talking about what I need?) -> checked out (hmmm I wonder what the specials are down in the cafeteria, I hope they are doing a stir fry) -> frustrated (lordy, it’s been 45 minutes and she STILL hasn’t answered my question)-> fighting urge to flee the room (this is pointless, I have better things to do) -> anger (she has no idea what the hell she’s talking about, and it’s wasting my time) -> ENOUGH!
At the ENOUGH! phase, I had to openly express my frustration with her lack of process, and it came out a bit more forceful than I expected. Did I finally get what I needed? Kinda. But, the cost of my outburst is even further alienation from the technical team who probably think I’m a bitch.
It’s hard feeling not liked by your boss or colleagues. I know that if I want to be liked, I need to create those causes by being friendlier and more open. Yet, the instinct to protect myself and my feelings is very strong, so I probably come off as more aloof and distant than I would like.
This too will pass. This too will pass.