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Posted Jan 11 2013 5:08pm
I've always been sort of self effacing. I feel like a dumb person quite frequently, and I embarrass myself on a regular basis. I never miss an opportunity to point out my own shortcomings.

The new job has been a challenge, mostly because I work in 4 different sites, and I'm struggling to keep it all straight in my head, to be where I am supposed to be, do what I am supposed to do.

One site is difficult. They have not taken to the changes from corporate very well. They are angry. Moreover they are immature. Lots of vulgarity and swearing, and angry rhetoric. Petty. I tried to explain to my supervisor the difficulty that I was having. I was planning to have a sit down with my site manager there, and wanted to apprise her of this so that she knew what was in the works.  I gave her an example that to me summed up the pettiness. She was quite upset and called the director of the facility. Long story short, lots of pissed people. It doesn't matter, not really, because they were pissed long before I got there. They've just got a different target now. Me.

In the middle of this chaos, I made another mistake. I changed an appointment. Working at the corporate level, I use a different e-mail system now. Except that I needed to contact that supervisor on another e-mail system. After several months of not using that, I made a very foolish mistake. The first block of that system asked for the sender. I entered her e-mail there instead of my own. The e-mail did not send. I did not realize it.

That supervisor is angry. Rightfully so. She waited for me to show up, and I did not. I had a training. I realized my mistake when I sent a second e-mail to apologize, and to tell her that I'd sent an e-mail and it did not send for what ever reason. That e-mail did not send either. I asked for help, discovered my mistake, and sent out yet another apology. Her e-mail was angry, and pointed out that I was unprofessional and an embarrassment to say the least.

I studied her words. I had it coming, and I replied to it saying, "It was. You are right. The mistake was not intentional, and once again, I am sorry for the inconvenience." She's a tough person, but fair. I have no doubt that once I work with her, we'll get on just fine, but she has every right to be angry. It was a stupid mistake.

My supervisor at the angry site had said, "You need to stop being so thin skinned." I am overly sensitive to criticism. I know this. Listening to non-stop complaining about losing a long term employee has made me feel awkward and unwelcome. That's not my imagination. It bothers me.

Now I made a mistake which made another supervisor angry.

I was very discouraged last night, but I decided this: As a new person, I am being watched. I am being criticised. Sometimes I deserve it. Sometimes I don't. But with all the criticism flying around, the one thing that will never happen again is that they will not hear me criticise myself. They will just have to find their own ammunition, because I am no longer providing it for them.

Today, I went to work and it was different. I bit my tongue when I felt stupid.  I said nothing. I found that I was biting my tongue a lot. Surprised me.

At the end of the day, my coworker said, "You seem different today..."

I smiled. "Really?" I said. And that was all I said.
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