Your Bad Attitude is Killing Me

I was listening to someone I work with today complain that she made less money than some of her other colleagues. Then I asked her if she could take some appointments for me one week in February when I will be out of the office. She opened up her planner and the week was completely empty. Then she told me to go ahead and cancel the appointments because she didn't want to take the meetings.

This coworker is the only other person there is who could have done these meetings. It's fine that she doesn't want to do them, because in her words, she might have other appointments by then. These are my appointments and my responsibility.

Then we were talking about a follow up support group and she was saying that no one was going to do anything, all we were going to hear was excuses and she didn't want to put the effort forth. "They will say this this and this, and nothing will happen. I've done this before." She doesn't want to put in the effort if the participants aren't going to put the same effort in.

And it was then that I realized, it's not her fault, she just has a horrible attitude. She's also a very outcome oriented person. I am totally not. I am almost 100% a process person. It's unusual in my field, any field really to be so process oriented. It's ok though because I wind up with a much better attitude. There's value in what I do. There's value in my putting effort into someone even if they don't return the effort. There's value in my putting effort into someone even if they don't ever achieve the outcome we were aiming for.

I work with this girl more than anyone else and it's been very interesting because we're almost total opposites. She's an extrovert and I am totally not. She's a feeler, I'm a thinker. She's very polychronic and a multitasker. I am the anal rententive one thing at a time type girl. She can feel attacked easily and doesn't often ask for help. I tend to have this self esteem that sings "I'm rubber, you're glue" all day and things don't bother me so much. She's very loose in how she finishes things and doesn't ever like to solidify details. I need to have all the details checked off so that I know I'm done. And she is an outcomes person while I am a process person.

There's value in the process and the whole process needs to happen. There's value in me taking part in the process even if the outcome is not my own. Another person's apathy toward the process or the goals doesn't devalue my own effort. My effort has value just existing.

So, I've been frustrated because I'm having trouble convincing others of that. How do you convince someone that there efforts were worthwhile when they help get someone a job and that person quits three weeks later? Their efforts were worthwhile. How do you show them that? The problem is that there's nothing there to touch, you just have to believe that what your doing is worthwhile. It's a very strange thing.

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