Today I'm thinking about how I feel. I made a list of things I want to do today, I woke up enraged, writing that list last night helped me tap into the problems and gave me some potential solutions, but it stripped back a layer and exposed my underlying emotions. I read an article about the different personality types at work. They had seven categories:

  1. The Solo Artist
  2. The Ego Monster
  3. Woe is Me
  4. Everyone's Best Friend
  5. Masters of Illusion
  6. Upward Managers
  7. The Ticking Bomb

***

7. I'm going to start at the bottom and work up through the list. My manager is a ticking bomb. Everyone knows it's a matter of when, not if, she's going to lose her cool and let someone have it. I am rarely in the line of fire and I can always forgive her for losing her temper because she is direct and honest about how she feels which doesn't necessarily mean that I agree with her assessment of a situation. I like people who are assertive and communicate that something is uncool. I try very hard to make her life easier and better, I have a lot of diplomacy skills, I tend to be cool rather than hot headed, sometimes I think it would be better if I could warm up a little, but I'm also very leery of letting the walls down like that because I am a bridge burner and an ice machine. Once I decide that someone has no place in my life I construct a maze of ice, place the explosives, detonate the bridge, and move on to whatever is next on my list.

6. I tend to see through these people and I despise them. I don't bother burning the bridges here because these people aren't worth my time and effort. Going to management has been futile in the past. A friend of mine once told me to give people like this enough rope to hang themselves, this is a hard strategy for me to follow, but I can never win with these people so I don't even try. I do need to become more assertive with them. I am extremely careful with these people because those who crave power and sacrifice others to get it are volatile and interacting with them can be lethal. They tend to be political rather than just or merciful and I can't stand that either. I have to disconnect emotionally when I'm around these people because my natural impulse is to spend some time doing some detective work so I can go up to management with a list of facts demonstrating that this person is a liability to the company's bottom line. The last time I did this I wasn't taken seriously and I haven't tried it since.

5. One of the women I can't stand is also a Master of Illusion, never around when the work needs to get done. Runs late, always has some low level crisis going on in her life, frequently says things like - I'm sure they won't mind if we don't have coverage for an hour or so, she routinely comes in late, leaves early, and is fabulous at figuring out how to put in the least amount of effort when she's actually forced to do work that needs to be done. An example - an order arrives that needs to be put away. I try to be somewhat strategic when I stock shelves. Higher priced items take precedence over a lower priced item, out of stock items, sale items, or very popular items go out before things that are less popular, etc... Under any scheme you use, bars of soap and boxes of toothpaste should be some of the lowest priority items. The margins are low, there are frequently many choices, these items are rarely if ever completely out of stock although it can happen during a sale. What does she tend to grab first? Bars of soap. I literally can't even...

4. Typically I don't mind the people who try to be friends with everyone. I see these people as important in the workplace and I really don't care if they like to gossip in the sense that they're interested in what is going on in other people's lives and aren't doing it maliciously although I admit there is a fine line here. I like knowing what is going on with people because I think help should be available to those who need it most, I tend to focus more on who people are and the larger issues rather than the superficial and immediate which is why the best friend types are generally helpful to me. I don't really care if these people know what's going on in my life, I care if they try to exploit or manipulate me emotionally, but that's not been my experience with the majority of them. Sometimes I need to vent and while there are times when I feel like I'm feeding the rumor mill, these people can also lend perspective and temper my tendency to judge others more harshly than I should.

3. Woe Is Me is one of my least favorite types to work with, one of the women in my department combines Woe Is Me with Master of Illusion, she partners with the Upward Manager and they are a destructive, divisive, unhealthy, unwholesome, self serving, greedy, lazy, energy sucking duo. It's always something with her, as an example; Wisconsin winters are not particularly balmy or temperate. She comes into work wearing a thin short sleeved t-shirt that she got for free from a vendor and complained that she was cold. The day she went to HR to tell management she needed off to renew her driver's license she told us how she had a large breakfast with her father and sat around drinking coffee with him before she came into work. She could have gone to the DMV before work, but she chose a leisurely breakfast instead. My dad isn't around so I would value the family connection, but now she lives at home so it isn't like she doesn't get to see her father and interact with him. Her 'emergencies' become our problems. Not cool.

2. I have a lot of ego, but I try hard to keep it in check and it really helps that what others say is largely independent of how I feel about myself. During my last performance review a peer wrote that I spend too much time talking to customers. I know for a fact that I'm one of the top sales people because I've received more written and verbal customer compliments than anyone else in my department. I am exceptionally good at what I do and I understand that it can take time to build a relationship and gather information. The way I sell is the way that I sell and whoever made that comment lacks big picture thinking. Vendors love me and management knows I'm good at my job. I might routinely or occasionally spend more time with a certain type of person, but you can rest assured that I'm selling the store and creating an experience that makes someone want to return. I steer clear of other ego monsters, they have nothing for me, and tend to see me as a threat. Generally these people are insecure and that scent surround them. 

1. I have very mixed feelings about other solo artists. On one hand I tend to really admire these people, on the other, I need to learn how to recognize them, realize that they have no room in their lives for me, and keep my distance. These people are my heartbreakers. Going forward I want better strategies for dealing with these people. These people are the icebergs in my life. A lot of others have a tendency to write them off as dull, slow, not very interesting, colorless, or flat. There are times when I can see below the surface into the complex, nuanced, colorful, brilliant, fascinating inner world that these people have. The problem is it's their world, not mine. These people tend to have a very limited capacity to give, they may not necessarily take, they're very guarded and I want to get better about respecting the warning bells that start going off in my head whenever those triggers are tripped. I hate these people and I'm one of them.

1. There are four or five of these people that bring out the best and the worst in me. At some point in time I've had the following experience with each of them: I'm going along and have an interaction with this person. It's almost always innocent and work related. There's a reason for us to be in the same area or speaking to each other, but I've also just been chatting when this happens. I tend to be very curious about other people, especially those that I view as deep or profound. All of a sudden there will be a break in reality and I can see a slice of who they are on the inside. It's like being in Aladdin's Cave of Wonders, or seeing Ariel's collection of things that are important to her, but meaningless or even dangerous to the rest of the mer kingdom. It's as if I'm a tiny creature standing inside this vast, unexplored, rich, beautiful, and often very dark place.

1. At first I'm entranced, enthralled, I marvel that I was allowed into their inner sanctum, and I'm very careful not to disturb anything. I'm just there to observe and it feels like I could spend the rest of my life trying to describe what I'm encountering. The objects vanish and a pool appears before me, their depths have depths, the pool shows me their pain, their secrets, how turbulent or still they are, whether they are crying out for love, feel tortured, tormented, battered, disconnected, sometimes it is cool, flat, still, black, or a very deep blue. Other times it's orange, red and angry, the waves are hurling themselves at angular rocks, the sea is churning, foaming, frothing, there is no calm. I look around for the lighthouse and see what sort of shape that's in, if it's in good repair I worry less, if there is no lighthouse then I really worry. This often feels very one sided, as if I'm seeing into them, but they aren't really seeing into me. The moment passes, then I feel as if we both know something has changed and neither of us wants to discuss it.

1. I really need to find a way to deal with these people. Most of them are men, at least one of them is a woman and going through that with her was terrifying once I had a chance to sit down and process what had transpired. I didn't connect with her immediately, she's very good about presenting a front to the world. One of the men dresses almost exclusively in black so he was easy for me to spot. I can tell I make him nervous so I try to steer clear of him. The other day I had to go in back for something. He was sitting at a chair with his back to me, these people are very aware of others. Most of them are still, quiet, calm, logical, their faces tend to be blank or impassive, you never know what they're really thinking, but you know that their mind is sorting, sifting, questioning, examining, probing, asking the tough questions, drifting from one thought or idea to another. I had to ask him a question, time stopped and I was trapped in his world for a split second. A drop of pain went all the way down into a private well of blackness. 

1. I didn't care for him when I first met him. The woman in his life didn't appeal to me either. I have no idea why, but one day they stopped to talk to me. His dad was with them. We stood in the aisle while I thought to myself - we are not friends, why is this happening to me? How can I escape? They can't feel comfortable either, please go away and have mercy on me. But they didn't. I wanted to wave my white flag of surrender, anything to get me out of this conversation and away from these people. Eventually they left, but the discomfort stayed with me. I was working by myself one Sunday when I heard a noise. It was them again, but this time the conversation was a bit easier. They stayed talking to me for such a long time I worried that I was going to get into trouble. I couldn't figure it out, they didn't seem to want anything from me, was this woman afraid that I was after her man? She wasn't acting jealous, I almost never talk to him, I had no idea what was going on and that scared me.

The tipping point came when we were talking about two of the people in my department. He made a comment about their clothes and I agreed with him, but made a different point. Another guy who was standing there rolled his eyes and told us to grow up, but I said that this was a very important conversation to be having because when it appears that there are those who are above and beyond the rules, that needs to be addressed by management. The rules should apply to everyone equally and if there are those who are purposely breaking them because they think the rules are for lesser beings, that is not okay. It wasn't the clothes that was the problem, it was the attitude behind it and what it means when someone flagrantly breaks rules others have been sent home for infringing. I had to drive back home and change my shoes one day when I wore footwear that apparently didn't meet the dress code. Another woman at work wears them with impunity. 

This is a status quo relationship of the right sort. I know where he stands, he knows where I'm at and coming from. I think his wife knows me well enough to realize that I'm not after him, and he has no interest in me. I didn't think he was a hugger until one day he gave me a really nice hug. I think normally he isn't into physical touch, it isn't a sexual thing, it's kind of hard to explain. I think we're basically saying, I can communicate things that can't be said through a hug, it isn't going to happen often, but sometimes we can go there and share some close contact and physical space because the boundaries are in place and neither of us will cross them. He works with a guy who has also hugged me, but this type of hug is very different. With the first guy I feel safe and protected, with the second guy I feel like melting down, or bursting into tears. My guess is that the second guy is an IXFP type and the first guy an INTX, I would buy either P or J and wonder if he rides that line. 

There are people I meet that I immediately feel connected to or fascinated by, I try to learn more about them and study them for a while. Sometimes people blur together in my mind even when they don't look alike, whenever that happens I try and understand why. These four people are a good example of this. Two of them almost always wear black, their hair is dark, but their skin is fair. They both have black glasses, and now that one has cut his hair short, their hair is very similar. All four of these men have facial hair, I think three of them have hair that has more texture to it, they're about the same height, three of them are very deliberate. Two of them have navy blue sweaters, their skin has more olive in it, their hair is lighter, but their skin is darker. Three of them have skin that appears to be dry. Only one of them has more sheen to his. Two of them seem like they don't eat much, the other two appear to be very hearty eaters. Two of them are married, I think the other two are both single.

None of them are chatty. They all seem to have a similar sense of humor. Two of them have tattoos, I don't think the other two do, but I could be wrong about that. One has a sense of style, I would almost call him a fashionista, but that doesn't quite fit. I know for a fact that three of them enjoy computer related experiences such as video games, I'm not sure about the fourth, but wouldn't be surprised. Three of them are workaholics, the fourth is whatever the opposite of a workaholic is, I'm guessing that he's the most intellectual of the bunch, every once in a while he pulls together something that looks fantastic on him, he looks great in gray and I wonder why he doesn't wear it more often. I once got a flash of him that reminded me of a friend of mine and I'm pretty sure I understand why they seem to echo each other although I doubt anyone would compare them on a regular day since he's a very deep thinker and she's very in touch with her emotions.  

I don't know what to do with these people with the exception of the status quo guy. I hardly ever work closely with them, we rarely interact and when we do, nothing much is being said. I'd like to pretend that they don't exist, but they're neat people and we work together so I have to find some way to deal with them. I can see their faults and flaws, I can see what they're great at and where they could grow. My guess is that two of them are INFJ, one is INTP, and the status quo guy is the one who rides the line between P and J. I see flashes of T in the F types and glimpse F in the T types. I don't have a lot of status quo relationships, I want to be moving closer to, or further away from others, and when I don't know what to do with someone, I want to pretend like they don't exist so they can't hurt me and I can't hurt them. I'm sure they would be confused if I stopped interacting with them entirely which is what I'd like to do, but I know that's immature of me and not fair to them. They can't help who they are. But neither can I.

Closing the door on these people didn't work. I never gave one of them a chance, today we're friends of a sort if you can call two people who work together, understand each other, hardly ever talk to each other, and occasionally hug friends, then I guess that's what we are. I've learned how to stay in my lane with one of them. It's easier for me to avoid the feelers than it is the thinking types. I can't help them and they can't help me, or at least that's how it seems. I think we would work well together if we were on the same team. Sometimes I want to pair two of these people together to see what would happen, then I realize I'm not a member of management and sometimes leaving things be is the best strategy. I miss these people and think about them often, not consciously, they drift into and out of my mind, it's like seeing myself and the things I love and hate about me reflected in them and then I wonder how much I'm projecting. They're all precious to me in their own special way. I'm glad I met them regardless of what happens next.

***

  1. When I started my new job I noticed
  2. that he was always busy. It didn't seem
  3. as if he was very aware of his surroundings,
  4. he was constantly being interrupted, I 
  5. wondered why he worked so hard and
  6. put up with the crap that he did. 
  7. Someone told me he had applied for a
  8. job he didn't get, the general consensus
  9. was that he wasn't that bright, so despite
  10. his work ethic, someone else was promoted.

 

  1. I didn't like him when we first met. He 
  2. was cold, smug, and seemed kind of lazy.
  3. Then I met his partner and I did not care
  4. for her at all. Her pale skin and black hair
  5. scared me, the words that fell from her 
  6. mouth drove me further away. His dad 
  7. made no sense to me and I wondered why
  8. we were talking. Then one day, the walls
  9. started crumbling. He gave me a hug,
  10. now I feel loved, and understood.

 

  1. I couldn't see his face, but I knew he was
  2. someone special. I tried to give him space,
  3. but I was curious. What he said and what
  4. he did rarely matched. How could someone
  5. who had that much going for them be so
  6. miserably unhappy? When people tried to
  7. put him down I stood up for him. Someone
  8. called him slow, I almost laughed in their
  9. face. Today he seems much better than he
  10. did, but I still worry. I hope he feels loved.

 

  1. At first I didn't know he had hidden depths.
  2. He seemed to get along with others, but
  3. held back, like a child who wants to fit in,
  4. but sees that they are different from 
  5. everyone else. The first time he tried
  6. joking around with me I didn't expect it.
  7. He works hard, I want him to know
  8. that I see how smart he is, others may
  9. not believe me, but lovers of beauty
  10. and wisdom are cool people in my book.
  1. Men at work. Are you a solo artist

***

Xoxo,

J

I have written a ton of words over my life. It turns out I like it.

And I realize unless I give myself some accountability here, I'm never going to actually follow through with something I've been wanting to do as a bucket list thing.

So here it is.

I'm going to write a novel. I'm reasonably sure it will only ever sit on my shelf, something I pull out on yellowed printout every now and then and say "I actually wrote a book once", but what the hell.

I'm going to try to do it within the year.

I say that because between my day job, barbering, my commute, and all the other demands on my time, if I say six months, I'll miss the deadline. Gonna underpromise and hopefully overdeliver.

Will daylog my overall progress.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.