05 November 2011

Grumpy is as Grumpy Does....

Yesterday, I had a meeting at work. 45 minutes into it, we all find out that we are going to round-robin read our way through a document. <sigh>

The meeting leader started out reading. M chimed in that she thought this was a silly idea and that maybe we should not proceed. The leader seemed to take some offense at this and made a comment along the lines of "too bad, this is what we're doing."

At which point I chimed in and mentioned that I have no attention span and would not be able to pay attention to the reading and if the people who had made the document would like to point out specific concerns and highlights, then that would be more effective use of our time.

A jumped in at this point to say that there isn't really anything specific the creators had to mention and that reading it through would be a great way to familiarize ourselves with it.

I restated that it felt like we were being treated like we were 2. And that if we made mistakes in our editing because we hadn't read the document than that was on us and we should be held responsible for that. But having us all read this (over the phone, mind you) in a round-robin setting was not the best option. That my attention span would not allow for it and I'd much rather read it on my own later.

The meeting leader said "that's unfortunate" and continued with the reading. I hung up. And muttered something about "oops, my phone just hung itself up."

The meeting ended a few minutes later. I asked my coworker K if someone else had complained since the meeting had ended early. He said "yes, but they handled it better than you did." Oh wait, he didn't say it as much as he barked/yelled it at me.

So I asked another coworker, J, if she thought I'd been rude. This had not been my intent. She replied that it did come across that way. M started a conversation with me in which she thanked me for sticking up for her and stating the same concerns. I asked if I'd been rude, and she said "I didn't think you were being rude, but I know you.

So I apologized to those I had interacted with. I just couldn't believe that no one took M's concerns seriously. And treated her like she didn't know what she was talking about. Also, I was the only one willing to voice what everyone else was thinking. (Several in the meeting came to me after the meeting and said they had all been thinking what I had said. I was just the only one to say it.)

Generally speaking, I'm very quiet in meetings. If I do voice dissent, it's done in a very cordial manner and I usually don't care enough about what is being discussed to actually fight for anything. But yesterday? Apparently, something snapped. Probably from the blatent lack of regard the meeting leader showed for one of her coworkers. I really hate that.  You don't have to like our opinions, but you do need to be respectful.

But what bugged me the most about this was not that I was called out for being rude. I needed that. And I appreciated M and J for telling me that I was rude, but they understood I wasn't intending to be rude. (The two I apologized to also said  I came across rude, but understood my point and were not upset with me.) What bugged me the most was K's reaction and his rude behavior towards me. The very thing he was upset with me about, he was doing to me.

What makes this even stickier is that K and I are friends. We get along quite well most days and even have done things outside of work. Friends get to be grumpy with each other on occasion. I can't really issue a complaint to my boss about it, because K was probably reacting as a friend and not as a coworker. And today, we're fine. He didn't apologize to me (which, he probably should...but I won't push it), but he did reach out to me as a friend.

Maybe he was having a bad day and just used his friend as a person to release frustration. Doesn't mean he was right, but maybe there was something else bugging him. <shrugs> I just ignored him the rest of the day, and would have continued to do so today if he hadn't extended a small olive branch.

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