Monday, November 21, 2011

So how do you REALLY feel about that?

No one likes to be annoyed.  Yet, somehow for various reasons we put ourselves into situations every day that we know ahead of time are guaranteed to cause us a great deal of annoyance.  Sometimes it is unavoidable; we may be required to endure it because of a commitment or contract through place of employment, marriage, blood ties or travel routes. 

I am no exception to this rule.  There are days that I wake up and tell myself that today is the day that I am not going to let myself go to this place mentally.  I will force myself not to feel annoyance.  This usually lasts until I get in my car and start down the road to work for the day.  Road rage and stupid drivers abound, even here in "Minnesota Nice" country. 

Even if you try to be non-confrontational and drive safely in the right hand lane while maintaining a safe distance between yourself and the driver ahead of you, there will always be that one person who feels entitled to weave in and out of lanes, never signalling, riding up on your backside and gesturing obscenely to you that you are not moving fast enough to allow them to continue at 120 mph when the speed limit is 70.  And you are already going 75.  In the right hand lane.  Of three lanes of traffic.  Go figure.

Not that this happens every day, but it does occur more often than it really should, which is never. 

If you can make it through the morning commute without incident, count it as a blessing.  But your annoyance pitfalls are far from over.  Everyone works in different environments with various corporate (or non-corporate) structures.  However, unless you work from home (in which case you have already avoided the driving annoyances of the day), you will have to work with other human beings.

If you're very very fortunate, you will love the nature of your work.  You will find the actual job that you perform to be stimulating and worthwhile.  This may in some ways compensate and overshadow any slight annoyances you may otherwise experience in a day and you may go home at the end of the day basking in the glow of your good fortune. 

However, if you are less than fortunate in the nature of your work, this may not happen for you.  Ever.  It may manifest itself in different ways; a coworker who fails to competently perform their job duties, a colleague who blatantly flaunts their lack of adherence to company policies, or one who simply does nothing all day.  Sometimes these behaviors are just annoying by themselves, but in the worst cases, they create more work for you.  When all of these behaviors are rolled up into one person, it is impossible to avoid or ignore.

It is hard to keep annoyance from creeping into your brain when faced with these situations.  Perhaps if you are an experienced Zen Master, you can do some deep breathing and power through.  Or go to your "happy place" and let the irritations run off like water on a duck's back.  If you are capable of this, you are a stronger person than most.  Congratulations.

For me, I find that I am capable of this kind of magnanimous behavior about once every three months.  True, I rarely verbally or outwardly express most of my annoyance, but it is still there, simmering away deep in my brain.  It does help to have a confidante at work; someone who knows what you're feeling and is probably experiencing the same emotions.  Call it a support system if you will, but having at least one person like this nearby is possibly a lifesaver, at least it is for me. 

Does this entry have the feeling of a Monday rant?  Actually, it is not.  It is not a reaction to anything specific, just a general observational essay.  I am hoping to make a transition into the group of fortunates who really enjoy the nature of their work some day soon.  It hasn't happened yet, but the fact that my graduation is now LESS than one month away has me thinking to the future and the possible positive opportunities that await. 

So hopefully that helps to leave this entry with a positive note, but in case you need more encouragement, here are some nice words from one of my favorite characters of all time:*  "Follow your dreams.  You can reach your goals; I'm living proof.  Beefcake.  BEEFCAKE!!!!!" 

*Bonus points if you get the reference!

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