Just a moment ago I got irrationally angry. I realized that quickly and snatched on to the emotion so I could dissect it, and try to figure out why.
Here is what happened. A coworker sent me an email with a question. A customer had ordered one of our products, and the measurements the customer specified to me didn’t quite make sense, it deviated from the standard just a bit to make it odd. (This small change wouldn’t effect the price, but could effect the finished product if it’s wrong).
So, my coworker emailed this to me to have me email the customer for clarification, rather than taking 2 seconds to contact the customer herself. It wouldn’t have taken her any more time to contact him herself directly than to contact me to contact him. That is what made me angry.
Perhaps a bit of background is needed. I am a sales assistant, the only one in fact. It is my job to set up the potential jobs in our system, download the architectural plans, set up the job on our server, send all that to the estimating department to estimate the cost of the items we provide, and then from their pricing and descriptions, build a quote for the products and send them to the customer. I do more than just that, but that is the major function of my job.
Now, I got angry. I did not act on that anger, but I did fume and rage inside my head the whole time I crafted a nice and respectful email to the customer requesting clarification. I called my coworker lazy five ways to Sunday, and in my mind I thought “in the time it took her to email me about this she could have just asked the customer herself and dealt with it, now she has to involve me, wait for me to get in touch with the customer and the customer to respond and then wait for me to relay that information back to her. She is taking the longer route because she is lazy.”
I am in the wrong here. And for multiple reasons.
The first and most obvious is that my coworker is correct, this information is something that should have been gathered and made clear in the sales & quoting phase of the project. It shouldn’t have even gotten to her as a problem that she needed to do anything about, and it is lucky she even caught the error.
The second thing, and less obvious, is that I have a cushy thing going here. I get all my work done, but all my work doesn’t quite fill my day. So I can be online, chatting with Gandalf, posting these blogs, designing my house. I have maybe if I am lucky 3-4 hours of work in an 8 hour day. But usually it’s more like 1-3 hours of work.
The least I can do in return for such a easy job that pays far better than it should, is to be nice and helpful and eager to please. I shouldn’t get angry at anyone for asking me to do something that will take all of five seconds, or even five minutes, or hell even five hours. It isn’t like I am flooded with work, and a coworker is lazily dropping more work in my lap when I can barely handle the work I’ve got. If anything else I should be actively seeking more work to do.
I can get irrationally angry at things. Things that just shouldn’t bother me at all, let alone to the level at which they do.
I need to work on being calmer, nicer, more giving. On not being so angry, or offended, or annoyed.
Especially if I want to keep this job long enough to build my house.