I’ve been noticing that I’ve been getting a bit grumpy at work. I go in phases where I get annoyed with the people I’m supposed to help. I work on a Help Desk and sometimes people drive me crazy!
For the user, they’re having a problem that’s preventing them from working. So, they want help and they want it now.
For me, I often see the same problems over and over. Frequently with the same people… I like helping people with their issues. But sometimes people’s attitudes get to me. I can spend days in an angry, frustrated fugue…
Yesterday, I came up with a routine to help me start my day off right. I have a positive mantra to read about being there to help people do their work. And being understanding about their frustrations. I even have a snippet of the Hawaii Five-O theme to get me into a positive mood to start the day.
And yesterday was going great. Until someone pissed me off.
It wasn’t someone with a problem. It was another IT person. Let’s call them Lazy IT.
A user sent Lazy IT an email asking how to open a program. Instead of responding, “Click on icon ABC on your desktop”, Lazy IT passed it off to me via email. Which I didn’t see for a couple of hours because I had meetings and other things to work on.
But when I saw the email, I could hear the imaginary needle screeching across the record. What?? Lazy IT is the expert on this particular program and they couldn’t tell the person to click on an icon?? I went ballistic.
So much for being calm and starting the day off with the right attitude.
I drafted an angry email. Stopped. Got something to eat — I was fasting at the time and ended my fast to eat. Eat angrily. I rewrote the email so it was less angry and more snarky. Then I sent it off.
Immediately I thought, “Did Lazy IT assume the person didn’t have the program? So that’s why they forwarded it to me…?” Possible. But I wanted to still be angry. So, I told myself that it didn’t matter. They should have at least asked the person if the icon was there.
Grr. I opened Twitter to distract myself from my seething anger. And saw the following tweet from Ryan Holiday:
I’ve never once lost my temper and afterward thought, “I’m really glad I did that.”
I would see that AFTER I sent the email, wouldn’t I? Ugh.
I reached out to the user. They had found the icon on their own. Without Lazy IT’s help or mine. I got all hot and bothered for nothing.
But why did I get so angry?
Part of it might be that I saw Lazy IT’s reaction as an affront to me. They were passing the buck to me instead of handling it themselves. They were making me do the work that they should do. They were doing something to make me angry.
Of course, Lazy IT probably thought I would be able to help the user better than they could. Lazy IT wasn’t thinking about annoying me. They were thinking that I could resolve the problem faster than them.
Lazy IT was thinking about the user more than I was.
Maybe my name should be Lazy IT…
© 2021 Peter Gruner