Constructive criticism complaining and oh yeah, I'm technologically S.O.L.

I’m feeling particularly crappy today. I fell asleep around 1 a.m. and woke up at 6:10 a.m. on the dot. I know, I know, sleep is important. If only I could adhere to a schedule…

I’ve been avoiding my blog because I basically have nothing to say except to complain, complain, complain. I really shouldn’t, but that’s what I want to do.

As I said before, it’s peer-review time at my company and the main feedback I’ve gotten is "Marissa needs to handle change better and become more adaptable to fluctuating, hectic circumstances." I could take one of two positions here: I could basically say that all of my co-workers view my ability to handle change incorrectly OR I could accept their constructive criticism and admit it’s a weak area.

I feel a little bit of both. But then again, I am incredibly subjective. I’m trying to assess how it’s a weak area of mine. My defensive mechanism jumps up at that and I think to myself, "They don’t know me! I deal with the way I need to! I’m high-strung anyway when it comes to stress. That doesn’t mean I don’t handle it well! I get my tasks done and I do them effectively. What’s the big deal?"

Then I try to step outside of myself and view myself objectively (as much as I can) and think, "Well, if I saw someone stomping all around the place during a hectic time, looking grumpy, constantly complaining, and looking freaked out and stressed, I’d tell her she needs to improve as well." I battle back and forth with this.

"This is just the way I am. I can’t change."

"Yes, you can. It’s a behavioral pattern that you can take control of."

"I used to work at a daily newspaper, an extremely stressful environment. I handled shifting priorities well there!"

"Apparently, you’re doing something wrong if your co-workers feel this way about you."

So I’m left hanging. I’m pretty open to constructive criticism so I do realize my co-workers have a good point. From my POV, of course, I don’t see things the way they do and feel like it’s just a part of my personality and they need to get used to me. But at the same time, if my co-workers need to work with me, they need to feel I’m reliable enough to stay level-headed and get the job done. I really don’t want to work on the latter. It’s out of my comfort zone. Regardless, I’ll have to anyway.

I also think, "I’m looking for another job. I can ignore what they say here and go there and work much better." True. But if the criticisms of my co-workers are valid (they do have merit), it’s a characteristic I need to work on, regardless of where I work.

I’m disappointed. I’m new to this whole peer-review thing so my "constructive" criticisms for others weren’t very helpful. Out of the four people who requested my feedback, I don’t remember really handing out ANY constructive criticism to ANYONE. I’m pretty unobservant and try to see the best in everyone. I feel like the retarded member of my team. I probably criticize myself (not constructively) more than anyone on my team. The closest I came to constructive criticism for one member was, "So-and-so can continue to develop her technical skills and attend training programs to become a more effective member of the team." My competitive nature always gets me paranoid. I’m pretty certain that everyone on the team likes her more than me and thinks she works better than I do despite the fact that I’ve been here for one year and she’s been here for just over three months. So-and-so is sweet, funny, has a good spirit, is always upbeat, and within the span of three months, has made enough work friends to attend attend happy hour with them regularly. I’ve been here a year and am lucky to eek out more than, "Hi." I shouldn’t care what other people think of me, but I can’t help but realize that I’m an incredibly lame person when it comes to social skills. I often wonder if my impaired social skills have to do with being an only child. (We’re pretty rare.)

I was right. All I’ve done this entire post is complain. I no longer like my job. (I’ve learned to love the paycheck I get every other Thursday, though!) I don’t handle constructive criticism as well as I thought I did (or used to). I feel socially impaired. (It doesn’t help that I met many of my friends and my husband via the Internet.) My competitive nature drives me nuts. (I’m constantly worried about how I stack up to others. Especially those with less experience than I have.)

I’ll stop here. I’m feeling incredibly low and I need to focus on my work. The boring, boring task that I’ve been assigned to makes me want to put a .38 caliber to my head. (Um, I guess I was kidding.)

Oh and yeah, my laptop’s crapped out on me for the THIRD time. I’m S.O.L. when it comes to checking my personal e-mail now. Sigh.

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2 Comments

  1. May 29, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    Any kind of criticisms can be hard to take, by anyone. You can try to be as open as you want to be but any negative speak is going to sting regardless of the context. I bet you aren’t the only one there that isn’t seething just a little bit about what their peers said about them.
    I’m not familiar with peer reviews, the only time I’ve come across them has been school…I’m surprised that they are used in the work place.
    I’m glad they aren’t used at my job though…there are quite a few people I just don’t like working with (even if they do seem like decent people out of work). If I had to do peer reviews on them…let’s just say, heads would roll!

  2. June 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I was told by my boss, along The Hr person and the top boss in on the same conference that I could not take either ( Criticism or Constructive Criticism ) ( only remember the criticism word because i was dumb found that the word was even mention, any way I inquired about a promotion that i applied for several times and had been rejected every time , I had asked in reference to what i was doing wrong and how can I improve, I have been with this company 5 years, and they fill the position with a person that they hired two weeks ago, and the expereince was not a factor. how is one to deal with this, I am one to stand up for myself and I can take what ever one dishes out, i am a hard worker and dedicated to my work, I don’t understand, I was afraid to push the issue any more for fear of loosing my job at the time i was told about the criticism I ask to be excused from the meeting and I was left with the feeling of being worth less , but yet I was determined to show them I am one of the best workers they had,now this is months later about 7 months later I still have no promotion and I am still proving to them I can take the so called criticism , again how does one deal with this .


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