Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Dose of Self-Reflection Required

This week has been a bitch and thankfully tomorrow’s Friday. It started on Monday when I had to terminate (fire!) the jerk we’d hired as marketing director almost three months ago. It seems as if from day one we rubbed each other the wrong way and as much as I tried to deal with him in a professional manner, the situation devolved to the point where we were hardly speaking to each other and instead of trying to do the best job possible to quell my misgivings, he simply directed his hostilities my way on a daily basis and lacked any enthusiasm or interest in doing a good job. It became unbearable and although he probably he wouldn’t believe it, it wasn’t easy to give him the big heave-ho, because I don’t like to think of anyone unemployed in this economy and his inability to do his job only added more to my plate. I should also mention that I wasn’t the only person on our staff that found him difficult to work with, but I was his supervisor and felt the brunt of displeasure. I wonder, if I'd been a man, would this guy had felt so comfortable with being so disrespectful?

A few months ago, I posted about the challenged relationship between my dad and me and since that post in December, the only time I’ve spoken to him is when he calls to talk to the kids. As difficult as this has been, it’s better for me, and my emotional well-being. Unfortunately, on Tuesday while chatting with my aunt (his sister), she mentioned a recent conversation she had with my dad and in their exchange, my dad told my aunt a complete lie about me. I didn’t flip out or anything, but I did correct this bit of misinformation and in doing so, my aunt was hurt to learn of her brother’s lying. This simply affirms that my current strategy of not dealing with him is best for me, but it doesn’t trump the fact that in spite of my dad constantly disappointing me, I still expect more of him and I wish we had a functional, healthful relationship.

Finally, yesterday I learned of a family friend’s serious drug problem. His addiction is clearly at a point where he needs professional help and despite his family’s concern and support, and losing his job because of this addiction/sickness, he’s not yet admitting that he has a problem. I can’t begin to detail the myriad of emotions I’m feeling since learning of his problem. I love him and his entire family and while growing up his family welcomed this only child into their fold and made me one of their own. I know these people and their love of their son and brother and I know his heart and I pray for his full recovery.

So, I guess it seems like I’m just whining, nothing really catastrophic has occurred this week, but it has been emotionally draining and as I give some thought as to a thru-line between these three situations, it occurs to me that these men need to do some serious self-reflection. That’s right, all three need to own their own shit. What responsibility do they have for where they find themselves today? The ex-marketing director should have just done his job well, or maybe admitted that this job just wasn’t a good fit for his skill set, instead of creating a hostile work environment. My dad has never taken responsibility for his own actions and instead of being honest; he’s resorting to making up crap to justify his lack of a relationship with his grandkids and me. My friend is seriously self-medicating and instead of seeking professional help to deal with personal demons he’s putting his life at risk while creating stress for all who love and want to help him.

It’s funny because I believe women are usually too self-reflective and always looking within for how we impact a situation and men usually look externally to identify the source of their problems. Venus and Mars all over again.

1 comment:

Rha said...

I don't like to sound trite, but it is difficult to find good help. I too have been reflective and wondered if it were me. I've consulted with board members, my husband, and friends to see if I were just that diffucult. They seem to agree with my decision not to renew their contracts. Heck, I've even gone through three housecleaners. I've decided that I will not lower my expectations. That I will accept folks' limitations and try to work within them as long as they are willing, but I won't accept their anger and irreverance to me because my expectations uncover their limitations. We can learn from one another. We need to do so without hostility.