So.  I don’t work in a typical office. First, I work by myself.  There are offices with other people, but they work for a different organization.  My bosses come in and out of the office, but I usually communicate by phone and email. Second, I work with rabbis. I don’t think I had ever spoken to a rabbi in my life before this job, and now I see and talk to rabbis more than my own parents. All in all, it is a very relaxed and casual environment. I wear what I want, take my break when I feel like it, check facebook whenever, laugh out loud at stupid videos or take a mental break by staring out the window. Basically I structure my workday the way I want to. My work life is the polar opposite of being micromanaged.

This is my first sort of “real” job. Real only in the sense that I feel like I have responsibilities, and if I don’t follow through bad things will happen. I begin to imagine creepy guys coming after me because I didn’t respond appropriately to an email request or crazy angry donors will throw challah at me for not sending out their tax receipts quickly enough or nightmares about the phone calls from the bubbes wanting to tell me their life story during the phone call that never ends.

Anyways, because of the laidbackness of my employment, I feel like my communication skills suck. I can write great letters and applications and emails, but if I’m not happy about something I act like a 15 year old. So effin angsty.  Wait, let me clarify. It is definitely not the job which is making my communication skills sucky, but because I can get away with bottling it up and then being a snappy little shit, I continue to do it without suffering any real consequences. Other than guilt.

Example: I complete a project that was a time intensive (but required very little brain) and send it off, fufilling what was originally set out. I get a message the next day with another step (also time intensive and skull numbing) to complete. Not too happy about that, but it gets done. Then a phone call with yet another “thing” that needs to be done for this.  Not huge, but it bothers the hell out of me that I couldn’t just have all the requirements laid out in the beginning, and could so complete everything at one time and move on to the other stuff on my desk.  I respond in a huffy tone about how I have all this other work and yes, it will get done. Ugh, now get out of my room. Cue super annoying adolescent eye roll.

Thank god this was a phone convo and not in person.

And then I got huffy about another project later that week. Ugh.

Here is what the intelligent response would have been:

B: Hi, oh, you also need to do blahblahblahblah on the blah blah before we send it off to blah blah. If you do blah blah how many blahblah will there be blahalbalhljsjdlfkdjfs;.

Me: Ok.  I should be able to get that done by ___. By the way, in the future, could you please get together everything you need me to do before handing me a project? It really helps me figure out how to prioritize my workload and get things done. Thanks.

So easy when I put it in writing, yet this calm response which could actually change things for me for the better, doesn’t actually come out of my mouth.  the huffy response is still there and then I feel guilty and anxious about it. And then I eat my feelings.  At least the bakery down the street is making a profit from my shitty social skills.

To do: try to find tips to communicate frustrations and expectations without being a whiny brat

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