New equipment sometimes means hurt feelings

New equipment sometimes means hurt feelings.

Let me give you an example. I once worked at a company that was pretty cheap. They didn’t spend money on regularly refreshing their equipment, so it was years old and very slow.

One day I was asked to upgrade some people to have two monitors instead of a tiny 15 inch one they had. As I did this, many people asked me if they were getting a monitor. I said that I had a list and only the people on the list got one. So there were lots of hurt feelings because they didn’t feel important enough to get a second monitor.

So guess what? A few days later one of the older monitors breaks. Now in any other company this would be an opportunity to just upgrade it with the new larger monitor. However in this case the political climate was to get the permission of their manager so that any hurt feelings could be addressed before this was done. Interesting isn’t it? Normally you would just replace something that is broken and let people deal with it as best they can.

In one way this is nice. It is nice that a company is aware of peoples feelings. In another way this is kind of treating people like children. Children don’t have the emotional capability of regulating their feelings like adults show, so you have to treat them more gently than an adult.

Of course the next day the monitor got replaced. However I see this happen in every company. Once someone gets something, everyone else seems to need it too.

It is a fascinating thing to watch. The person with the broken monitor said how terrible it would be if her monitor broke. Now that it did, she seemed kind of upset and nervous about the attention she would attract. She did attract attention.

It is ok to have feelings at work. However if your neighbor gets a new monitor or whatever, it doesn’t mean that you are less valuable. It just means people make decisions for reasons we aren’t always aware of.

Silence is golden

Have you ever heard the saying Silence is golden? Sometimes that is the best response to life.

My job is to fix and make things work properly. It is difficult for me to not want to fix things. So when there is a problem I’m ready to solve it. The thing is, that many problems don’t want to be solved.

I have realized that many things in life don’t require nor need us to react to them. For example we all know what trolls are right? They are people who say stupid things and want us to react to them. Long ago I ignored them on message boards, and I thought that I had ignored them in life as well.

Why am I talking about this? I discovered that I had been letting myself be trolled by someone who says stupid things. I don’t need to mention any names, but anytime we spend time and energy on people who are not thoughtful we waste our lives.

Its easy isn’t it? We hear something stupid in the media and we get upset or surprised that someone could be so ignorant. We feel superior and judge the other person as less than us, with our greater knowledge or experience. What does this gain us exactly?

I think that we lose more than we gain when we judge others. Yes it is easy to want to judge others and falling short of our personal standard we set for ourself. However everyone has their own standards and no one can possibly meet all the standards that others set for them.

Lets take a simple example. No president is liked by everyone. So when people don’t like a president it isn’t a surprise. No person can be liked by everyone. Is Obama or any president a bad person when they aren’t liked by others? Of course not. However it is fair to ask if their proposed policies will help or hurt people. Are thoughtful and will they improve things?

We can ask for thoughtful and kind behavior from others and in a way that is respectful. Calling someone stupid doesn’t help anyone, even if it is the truth.

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