On Being the Office Jerk

by Bill Brenner on October 21, 2014

Every office environment has its challenges. There are always colleagues who see the world differently from you. There are always situations that require extra work hours to address. Nothing is ever perfect.

Knowing that, in recent years I’ve worked hard to be the cheerful guy in whatever office I work in, the one who always smiles, never talks badly about others and always keeps a can-do attitude.

But when my OCD runs hot, I become the guy I don’t want to be — the office jerk.

And so it has been lately. That’s how I feel, anyway.

Mood music:

I’ve been short tempered recently and my ideas don’t come out the way I intend them to. I sit by my laptop for 16 hours a day, hoping beyond hope that I can somehow control the world as long as I don’t step away. When critical feedback comes in, I take it personally. By not stepping away, I get exhausted, which makes me even more prickly.

In recent weeks at work we’ve had some big challenges to address. The challenges come with the job and in the end, we thrive on the challenges. The team has impressed the hell out of me, and that has made me want to contribute to the work all the harder.

So I did. I’d like to think I did some good. But I can’t help but think that I was a jerk in the process.

So I’m re-evaluating how I went about things.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that colleagues work hard to get it right and do well by their colleagues. No one sets out to be difficult, but in the heat of a deadline, it’s hard to avoid — especially when everyone cares so much about getting it right.

When I was an editor for a local daily newspaper, I saw enemies around every corner. From my perspective everyone was out to block my progress and throw me under the bus. But all the while, I was overbearing, standing over people who were trying to do their jobs and yelling across rooms. There’s a lot of that in newsrooms, so I got away with the behavior. But I know I made life miserable for other people and blamed everyone but myself when things went wrong.

When I started to get a grip on my OCD, I vowed never to be that guy again. For the most part, I think I’ve been successful. But in the last two months, I worry that I haven’t managed as well as I should. So it’s time for me to take stock and right myself.

I love what I do for work. I’m very fortunate to have this career. It’s been a huge blessing. I’ve made dear friends along the way and I’m constantly in awe of current colleagues.

I’ve forgotten the good parts in recent weeks because I stopped taking care of myself and started forgetting everything I’ve learned about being the blessing.

That brand of madness ends here.

If I’ve been difficult to colleagues of late, I apologize and thank them for their patience. The same goes for family who has to put up with my meltdowns at home.

My recalibration is under way.

Bill The Cat leaning on a lever

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jone October 22, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Please don’t be so hard on yourself. U really are toooo hard on yourself. P..S. Your graphics are always so right on with your articles – this one was, too ……it’s funny, tho!

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: