I normally shy away from blog postings about my job because, well, we all hate our jobs and who wants to hear about my particular dislikes? But this time, I’m going to go out on a limb for a few minutes so you’ll have to bear with me (or click off my site…).
Last Friday, near the end of what had been a perfectly acceptable lead up to the weekend, I discovered that someone had taken it upon herself to usurp my responsibilities on a particular writing project and finish it herself. And in doing so, she had to contact the original requestor of the project and work with her. The project was on hold because I, having tired of the requestor changing her mind on things, quite frankly asked her to revisit the original messaging she had given me, from which I devise my story, and to come up with her final wording and then resubmit the changes to me before I moved forward and (dare I say) wasted any more time.
For a number of reasons, this person going around me to move the project forward annoyed—nay—ticked me off. For one, it’s not her job to do this. Secondly, the original requestor is new to her job and I was trying to teach her the process rather than just “doing” it for her. And lastly, but most importantly, having someone else finish a writing project you start is a bit like some rank amateur trying to paint eyebrows on the Mona Lisa. I’ll explain.
When I was an engineer, it was nothing for one person to begin one job and for another to finish it. Working with foreign countries and different time zones made this a simple fact of life. However, writing is an art form. And while some may argue that what I write is far from being artistic, it is still my creation. It includes my vision for the piece and includes the sum total of all of my knowledge on the matter at hand.
When someone else comes in and makes changes to my art, they do it without any insight into what has gone into creating the piece. In short, they are a bull in a china shop (I use this comparison despite the television show “Mythbusters” having disproved the idea that a bull in a china shop is actually woefully destructive).
And so, like a mother protecting her child, I approached this person about what she had done to my project and it turned into a full-fledged finger pointing, which was not satisfactorily solved and which I stewed about all weekend. Now there are times that, given enough time to think about something you’ve said or done, you end up regretting your reaction; however, in this instance, I can honestly say that I’d react the same way again if need be…because I’m stubborn…and steadfastly convinced of the righteousness of my outrage.
I have a meeting this afternoon to discuss this, and other outstanding departmental issues and if the outcome of this meeting is anything short of spectacular, well, I’ll finally have the motivation to tell this great big opportunity to stick it!