In a discussion with a supervisor, years ago, I was told, “Karen, you expect too much from people. You will always be disappointed.” I was flummoxed or as a dear friend would put it “gob smacked.”
Expect too much? Is it really expecting too much for people to reach the next bar? To strive toward being a more thoughtful, ethical or moral individual? Is it expecting too much for people to educate themselves, to learn and grow?
Apparently so. He was right. I do expect too much and I am constantly disappointed, sometimes actually disgusted.
Personally, I was raised in an environment where you always did the best you could do – you might fail but you dusted yourself off and tried again. There was no shame in failure – there WAS/IS shame in not even giving it a go. This extended to all areas of life – from day to day tasks, to acquiring knowledge, to interaction within society. You always behaved morally, ethically and honestly. You didn’t steal, you didn’t lie. You did the job for which you were paid and you tried to raise your own bar. To work just a little harder, to contribute just a little more.
This doesn’t cut it anymore. Don’t do it. For every person who may think as do you, that personal bars are meant to be raised? There are 99 miserable souls looking to hitchhike a ride on your efforts. Or simply wallow in the dirt at your feet, biting at your ankles in an effort to drag you down to their level.
It appears that I have to re-adjust my morals and ethics. Striving toward the next bar has become dangerous to my health and state of mind. I have to remind myself not to expect anyone to live up to their words or step up to a plate, to do their best. I have to remind myself that mediocrity or worse, is the order of the day, in society and at work.
I will be returning to my job after a medical leave and I have to return with an entirely new attitude – something that is as foreign to me as walking naked down my street in mid-January. This is against my programming. It is against everything I was taught and have come to use in my life. I will return and simply follow my job description. I will not be involved in the sense of “team” that the corporation keeps touting as one of their corporate goals. Just P.R. There is no team in the corporate world. I was, at one time, friendly with most of my co-workers. Slowly, as their personalities began to show through; I was less friendly – still cordial etc. but there was a marked decrease in any sort of social interaction.
There will be none of that when I return. I will go in, I will do MY job to the best of my ability and if someone is unable to complete their assigned tasks…it will simply be too bad. I don’t want to “rise within the corporate structure” – the corporate structure makes me physically ill with all the backbiting and stepping over folks. I will not expend even a modicum of extra energy at work. I will save my energy for my home and my family, things that have taken a major hit.
Consider this a real warning to you; Don’t expect anything from people and you will not be disappointed. This is your life – let others rise or fall as they choose to do. In plain language? Fuck ’em.