You know how sometimes you just have really crappy days? Well today is one of those days. Sometimes I have responsibility for managing someone else – well, I have the responsibility for managing them all the time but I don’t always have to get actively involved. Today was unfortunately a “get involved” day, and it wasn’t much fun. I don’t enjoy giving negative feedback because it makes me feel like a big meanie even when I think that what I’m saying is correct and that I’m doing the right thing.
If you’re lucky, the person you’re talking to really listens to what you say and takes it as an opportunity to reassess things and move forwards in a positive way, or at least that’s how all the “How To…” books on the subject tell you it happens! The reality is usually that the person you’re talking to becomes (understandably) defensive, uses their body language to express silently the fact that they think you’re a *&^ker, and denies everything, couching it in terms that are meant to convey how petty and mean-minded you really are. And to top it off today I was on the receiving end of some pointy criticism myself about the possibility that everything that’s going wrong is going wrong because I’m a control freak. *sigh*
There could be some truth in there: I do like to have a plan in all situations! Of course I reassure myself by thinking of it in terms of being wise, but I guess you could just see it as wanting to be in control. Always.
Ah well. I shall press on. To balance things out I got lots of nice things in the post today: The Art Gallery of New South Wales’s magazine Look, with information about their exhibition of terracotta warriors that is starting soon (I can feel a birthday treat in Sydney coming on once term starts in February), a letter from our mortgage company apprising us of an increase in their mortgage interest rates which put the monthly premium up from “jeez, do you want me to starve for the next month?” to “Honey, I think we have to sell the kids“ and &Duck‘s artfully folded response to the latest BookArtObject text by Claire Beynon called Paper Wrestling. Duck, if you’re reading this, it’s fab!