14 October 2008

Personal Dynamics

We hear the car door slam.
Ten seconds... that's what it takes for her to gather up the things she'll use during her shift, walk to, then open the front door.
And the moment she crosses the threshold, we ALL know what sort of day we'll have.
We hope she's smiling. All too often she's not.

She has problems in her life. Her husband has health problems that required his early retirement from work. We hear her talking on the phone with her teenage daughter, and to say there is 'tension' in that relationship would be kind.
I don't know husband or daughter well, but I have worked with this woman a long, long time, and I know her moods.
I'm glad I only WORK with her.

She's a damned fine nurse.
If I regained consciousness in the rear of the helicopter looking squarely at her face, I'd know that I was getting first-class medical care.
But when I drive to work and see her car in the parking lot, I know my shift will be difficult.

Sure, all of us work with a few folks like this. But this job attracts people with big egos... it's almost a requirement to survive here. Add big egos to difficult personal relationships and you have a recipe for interesting times. Our company has sponsored several classes on making interpersonal relationships better... I think that's commendable, but I think it has little or no long-term effect on behavior. At your core, you're either a happy person or you're not.
In this gal's case, you can see it in her face when she steps through that door.

I feel bad for the rest of us.
I feel worse for her.


cary said...

There's the key - keep feeling.

When you stop feeling, one way or the other, then you've stopped caring.

emily said...

Wow...you just wrote about my main work issue with a few details changed. Still trying to figure out how to make my situation better. Would love any ideas!