I guess I see things as black and white (there may be a bad word in this post)

I hate it when people can only see things as black or white, with no shades of gray. Right or wrong. Bad or good. In or out. Up or down.

So we had this staff meeting on Wednesday where we had to go over the results of evaluation forms that had been filled out by ourselves and others. The person in charge (who had designed the whole thing and written all the questions and lives in an ethereal world that no one understands) says, “I want you to get in to pairs. There are two of you who see things as “black and white.” I don’t want those two people to be together. Do we all know who these people are?” And everyone in the room looked at me and started laughing.

I guess I’m the only one who never saw this about myself. It was infuriating! Especially because the other black and white person is someone who regularly drives me crazy and I’m not anything like her! Nothing whatsoever is similar between us! But this meant that I did not have to be her partner, which was my major goal of the afternoon, so I guess that’s one good thing.

So this one page had a list of all the comments we had written about ourselves or others. (This is because what you write down about someone else is really about yourself. So says the man in charge, Mr. Expert on Life, the Universe and Everything. Mr. “I go to Abu Dabi and Bangledash and Thailand and give everyone advice.”) (If he is so great, why don’t we have peace in the Middle East, I’d like to know?) One of the things I had written about someone else was “She thinks she’s always right.” Now supposedly this is really about me. And you know what I had to say about that?


Basically it was a horrible exercise and I felt worse after it. I think that everyone I work with thinks I’m opinionated and short-tempered. They make me feel like I’m a caricature of some kind of crazy person.

Short-tempered? Who the hell do they think they are???

Well, they can take their little forms and their little self-absorbed power statements and have a perfect little club without me. Meanwhile, I just wish they would turn in their goddamned credit card receipts on time so I can pay the bill without having to go around asking them. I have a bill every month from $1500 to $3500. That’s a lot of little pieces of paper I have to organize. Godammned little freaks who think it doesn’t matter when they turn their receipts in, if they turn them in at all. Sometimes they even “accidentally” use the company credit card instead of their own, then they have to pay the company back. Oh yeah, like that’s a mistake.

“So, Mr. A., I see you bought some black tar at Home Depot. Hmmm…what did you need black tar for, you dirty bastard? What are you going to do with black tar at the office?”

“I’m sure that I put that on my personal credit card.”

“Mr. A., there is a bucket of black tar on this bill under your account number and I don’t see you using it here, YOU FREAK! Do that again and I’m calling the police!!”

Unorganized belly-button worshippers.


P.S. I apologize for mis-spelling some countries and stuff, because I DESPISE PEOPLE WHO CAN’T SPELL. Also I HATE PEOPLE WHO DON’T PRONOUNCE WORDS PROPERLY. (even though I can’t say the word “throw.” I leave the “r” out. DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN

Ah, yes. The RUBBER/GLUE hypothesis. Highly esteemed by annoying little bastards in the second grade, and corporate motivational speakers.

That being said, it sounds like you could stand to relax a little. Okay, a lot.

(Bolding mine) That made me laugh.

I am in complete sympathy, Lilith. I think people at work see me the same way, a brutal anal-rententive with a hyperactute focus on details. A real bitch on wheels about getting eyes dotted and teas crossed (or vice-versa). Problem is, if I’m not acting like that, my boss thinks I’m a sloppy bookkeeper. It’s my freaking job people. I really don’t personally give a floatie if I have all your expense report back up, or your timesheets filled out properly, or your department’s vendors paid correctly and on time so they don’t stop sending you the random crap you order from them to get your own silly, meaningless jobs done. I have noticed, however, that you are really quick to point out any little niggly problems with your paychecks, which you unreasonably expect to get on time and completely correct. And yeah, I point out sales tax and SOX violations at meetings, not because I think anyone cares (they don’t, and let me know that they are really tired of me insisting on pointing them out and being a lousy party-pooper) but because I don’t want it coming back on me that I didn’t warn you when the DOL or state revenue auditor slaps you with a heft fine for violations.

And yeah, I organize my paperclips by size, file obsessively, and link all my spreadsheets. Because it takes a lot less work in the long run, and I’m basically a very lazy person who tries to get my job to the point where I never have to do overtime to make a dealine or re-do reports or enter information redundantly, that’s why.
Funny, because with the exception of my personal finances, I 'm not like that at all in my personal life. I’m very laid back, lazy even, and tend to let things get cluttered and put off. My closets aren’t organized, my kitchen is haphazard, and you don’t want to see the storage room.

Hmm, the OP seems to have hit a nerve. Maybe I need to organize the spoon drawer or something.

People with OCD make the best financial officers :smiley: - that’s why they go into the field (because it appeals to their sense of order), why they are hired by the big (honest) companies, why they get the big salaries, and also why, unfortunately, they don’t have many office friends.
Altho not completely OCD, I used to be “always right” and “the only one who knew how to do every task” in my department. On the plus side, when someone had a question, they knew I’d have the answer; on the down side, no one ever included me in lunches, or “happy hours” or whathaveyou. It was VERY difficult and took a VERY LONG time to change. And even once I had modified and (almost completely) altered my behavior, there were those who still approached me with disdain, or retticence, or both. Now, I still approach MY OWN tasks with OCD, (altho I more euphamistically call it thoroughness) but I leave others to their own devices. And you know what I found out? I work with some very intelligent, very thorough, and very nice people.
I’m guessing you, Lilith, are in your 20’s? Don’t wait until your 40’s to start changing. Please.

Okay, my point in the post was to say “I’m not like that!” then to illustrate a bunch of stuff that shows I’m exactly like that! I think it’s funny!

But I really had not noticed “black and white” about myself before, and since Wednesday’s meeting I’m noticing it all the time. This bothers me in that I do see things in shades of gray, such as political issues which cannot be explained in pithy soundbites but might take a little thinking to understand.

There is going to be “facilitator training” tomorrow afternoon which I had decided to attend because sometimes I do have to lead a meeting in some way. In fact, someone else leads my finance meeting, but at times I do need to re-direct the conversation away from explaining the same minutiae for the millionth time to something that actually needs to be discussed.

I am also about to start a new group, and I need to know how to be in charge because I don’t really like being in charge. I am starting this group because the two people who should be starting it aren’t doing it, and I think it needs to be done. People have been asking me to do it, so I’m going it, even though it is way out of muy comfort zone. I am also going to prepare and do it right, and start this group in January.

So there was a message on my machine when I got home late tonight from the person arranging the facilitator training. “Lillith, I really really think you should attend because it will help you and you will enjoy staff meetings so much more.”

Now, at staff meetings we are not supposed to bring up subjects unless they really involve most of the people. If it is just 2-3 people, talk about it separately. This person who called me tonight, I will call her Ellen, often takes over large chunks of the meeting with things that don’t involve everyone. I, meanwhile, have stopped saying anything much at all. If I do bring up something, Ellen tries to change the subject.

So, yes, I think I have some problems and am acknowledging that, but I’m not the only one.

Am I in my 20’s? I wish!

No, I don’t. I was 30 before I ever said anything that wasn’t sweet, kind, and fake, and I’m not shutting up now. I hope you realize I do not say “freak” to people, even when they deserve it. I WAS KIDDING in the OP. I say things that are appropriate and I say things that are honest without being mean.

I have actually said that if I can pay a credit card bill and not have to come to anyone for receipts that haven’t been turned in I will serve my special Oreo Cookie ice cream dessert at the next staff meeting. This has happened ONCE in four years. So much for the reward system.

Well, I’ll leave you alone now. I’ve bored you enough.

But I am always right.