While I have come to expect the protestations of a generation seemingly gifted at birth with Adderall and a trophy for participation, I’ve always figured that at least the workplace is where adults could gather, to work towards a common goal, to take responsibility seriously, and to act like, well, adults. By that, I mean all those cliches: you reap what you sow, take it on the chin, and other ones I can’t remember right now. Basically, do your job right or deal with the consequences, and when those consequences come, deal with them because it’s your fault to begin with.
This, to me, is what work is. I may not like work most of the time, but the being responsible for my own successes and failures was something that appealed to me greatly when I was a kid. Back then, one of my greatest desires was to be responsible for myself (second only to being left alone for five goddamn minutes). I wanted to show up, do my job, do it right, and be recognized for it. This is what I always expected out of work and still want so badly to happen, but unfortunately, I’ve come to learn that this is not a shared ideal.
What in the fuck happened to everyone? Since when did people stop being responsible for their own actions, and since when did their feelings become more important than the consequences of those actions? I expect this out of whiny ass teenagers, but not out of adults. Why is it so difficult for people to be criticized anymore, and instead of apologizing and just doing fucking better, they instead feel obligated to bring their feelings into it? Which of course doesn’t help the matter or solve the problem, it just creates a bigger one because now, how are you going to point out their errors in the future? Why are people allowed to be butthurt? What in the fuck is going on?
Perhaps I’m being obtuse here, and if so, I apologize. I try to be as direct as possible, and generally I achieve that by not naming my company or co-workers. But in addition to that, it’s really just hard for me to wrap my brain around this particular issue and articulate exactly how insane it is without sputtering “I MEAN…YOU GUYS…COME ON…YOU KNOW?”
Okay, so here’s the thing. If you spend several months fucking up nearly every task you set out to complete because a) you never bothered to learn it when it was being taught to you the first time, b) the second time, c) the third time, d) every fucking time after that until eventually e) I’m forced to spend a significant amount of my time every day fixing your constant fucking mistakes, then you’re not allowed to bring your feelings into it. No! You’re not! When I tell you that I just spent 30 fucking minutes figuring out, correcting, and apologizing to a business client because you were too stupid/lazy/careless to do it right the first time, you’re not allowed to complain that I don’t respect you. Because of course I don’t fucking respect you. You waste mine and everyone else’s time just by being there. Why would I respect you? You’re not even the boss of me! If you don’t want me to think you’re an idiot, well, the best and most obvious answer is to stop acting like an idiot.
But of course you’re too much of an idiot to understand that. Either that or you’re brilliant, and you’re faking the idiocy in order to manipulate any criticism that comes your way into an issue of your feelings.
You know the saying “don’t mistake my kindness for weakness?” Well, in this case, “don’t mistake business for viciousness.” I’m not being mean to you. I’m expecting you to do your job and stop wasting my time. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable expectation. I’m not intentionally hurting your feelings because your feelings are not part of the equation for me. Did you do the job or didn’t you? End of story. Me telling you that I fixed your problem (again) isn’t a personal attack. If anything, it’s a freebie because I could have gone way over both of our heads and gone straight to the boss. Which I’ll be doing from now on. Because you’re a fucking idiot. And whether or not I or anyone else thinks that (and they do) hasn’t been a concern of yours before, so there’s no reason to start now.