My fucking god. I’m not ambivalent about my anger toward these non-profit people anymore. Like, yesterday morning I was feeling like my temper was maybe not justified, and I was concerned that maybe the problem is just me and I need to control myself more and be more flexible, but no. My interactions with people this afternoon have just totally confirmed that the problem is them, not me.
Yesterday I did manage to stop thinking about things, and, though I had a huge cry and wave of hopelessness and feeling truly terrible about myself (and this after my daily to-do post), I connected with my Pocas and that interaction really helped me calm down and gain some perspective. Even though we didn’t talk specifically about my problems. After that, I had a pretty peaceful and relaxing day in which I didn’t work, didn’t think about, work, and felt absolutely no guilt. I even managed to not feel weighed-down by the fact that I knew I had promised to do a fair amount of work today (Thursday). And last night, Bear and I only relaxed, and it was gooood.
So this morning, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work on researching and writing the content that we had discussed yesterday morning. I worked on it for about 4 hours, until I got a message from the person who had “assigned” me the task. She has access to the document I’m editing, and she had observed my progress, and, basically, she wanted to know why I was working on this thing rather than on this other thing. I instantly felt a cold fury: seriously, my temperature and vision and hearing all seemed to alter, and I started shaking. Without getting into details, yesterday’s blowout was a result of the fact that apparently the work I did yesterday morning was not what they were looking for. And yesterday’s work was the result of an earlier “conversation” where PREVIOUS work I had done (on Monday) was apparently not what they were looking for. So to be clear, they fucking suck at communicating what they want, and they give the impression of wanting me to be creative and “come up with stuff,” but if it’s not what they want, it’s not what they want. They are not clear about what they do want, and when I have tried to get them to nail it down more specifically, apparently either I interpret this too strictly (and, you know, “they just kind of hoped I would have come up with something more interesting”), or the ambiguity leads me to do something entirely different from what they had been thinking — even though I am able to DIRECTLY QUOTE THEM asking for the thing that I did (which is what happened this morning). So her question about why I was working on this document, rather than this other document, came unexpectedly, to say the least. And this is after hours of working hard. So I fucking lost it. By that, I don’t mean that I just started cursing or ragequit or anything, but I did not mince words in laying out 1) what her words were that led me to believe I was supposed to be working on this, 2) the ambiguousness of simply pointing me toward an info-packed webpage and being told to make it “like that,” especially when her words (#1) caused me to interpret one thing, rather than another thing, from that webpage, and 3) most importantly, how totally unhelpful all their feedback so far has been. I was like, “Useful feedback would have been if you saw this spreadsheet and said, ‘we like what you have so far, but could you add more x’ rather than just signifying your discontent but not specifying why, and then, rather than building off of the existing content I had created, showed me a website and telling me to make it like that.” Okay, those were not my exact words, but you get the idea. Anyway, I could tell she was annoyed or something, and she was like “yeah, electronic communication is not the best,” but that just doesn’t cover it. Electronic communication CAN work, but you have to actually READ, and THINK about the communication: it demands a level of respect toward the other party, that they are communicating something worthwhile and that you should try to see what they’re saying before you go and assume they’re wrong or that they didn’t put thought or effort into the product. I have seen NO EVIDENCE of that from either of the parties that I’m working closely with. Meanwhile, I did make concessions toward friendliness, but I drew the line at apologizing. She never really apologized either, but the thing is, I WORKED HARD (not just today, but many many hours this whole week!) towards vague goals, and despite the absence of ANY useful feedback, I have endeavored over and over again to try to come up with what I think is what they’re looking for – like throwing darts into a deep dark cave hoping to hit a dartboard that may or may not be inside. And yet my impulse is to apologize: to be sorry for the miscommunication, sorry that I’ve had to communicate my displeasure, sorry that I haven’t magically produced the content that will finally turn them on. But NONE of that stuff was my fault, and, in fact, it was THEIR fault, and so I refrained from the apology that was wanting to dive off the tip of my tongue.
Meanwhile, after she and I both decided to be done for the day and connect again tomorrow, the other person messaged me with some random questions. At this point, I was at relative peace, having stated my case and come to a relatively friendly goodbye, so I was willing to engage with this other person, with whom I have had no beef today, over an unrelated topic. Things went well at first, but then she asked about the very thing that I was working on today, except, SURPRISE! she is wanting to know if I could come up with something very like the thing that I was working on today. So, two things came from this interaction: 1) the obvious fact that there are too many cooks in the kitchen; not only am I receiving conflicting and ambiguous instructions from single persons, but I am receiving instructions from multiple persons, and their instructions conflict and contradict one another. 2) I gained straightforward evidence to support my previous complaint that they both, and this person in particular, TALKS BUT DOES NOT LISTEN. In an especially annoying way that seems to presume I am stupid or something, when (sorry…but) clearly she is the stupid one. After she brought up the possibility of this content, I told her that such content DOES exist, that in fact I have been working on it today and that, after some miscommunication between me and the other person, me and that person were going to discuss it and work on it further tomorrow. THEN I shared the document with her (which causes an email to be sent to her), and said “I just shared the document with you.” She took that to mean that I was referring to another, totally different document, that obviously I know she has access to, because we had been discussing her edits to it. She then continued to talk over me, taking great pains (even pasting in some images) to illustrate the type of content she was talking about, while I continued to protest that I have been working on that content all day, as I already said over and over, and I just shared it with her! At one point I just stared, jaw agape, as she continued to type and paste more things, and I didn’t know what to do. I tried all versions of “Yes, see above,” and “Yes, as I said, we I have been working on this,” “Yes, I shared this document with you, you should have gotten an email,” and “^^^^^^^.” Not until I pasted the link to the document into the conversation did she finally stop talking and actually look at what I was talking about. The she was like “LOL oh, now I see what you mean! No wonder the confusion.” >.> I was like “hehe.” Not amused. Anyway. These fucking people, man. At least I know it’s them, not me.
Now it’s freaking late. I didn’t make a list until now, because some days I dominate the list, and some days the list dominates me, and I knew today would have been the latter type of day. That being said, I will still put the bare minimum here:
Continue reading “The daily to-do: Thursday July 14”