Tuesday, 6 July 2010


A bit of history.

A couple of weeks ago I e-mailed a team leader with a couple of queries regarding the working practices of colleagues under his control.

It was, I thought, polite, specific and gave examples of the concerns I thought pertinent to draw to his attention for the better performance of the department and so creating a better experience for our customers.

I believed that, in my role, advising the team leader directly was the best course of action to take. I would then leave it to him to take any action he considered appropriate.

A few days later, my e-mail was returned to me as part of a thread.

The team leader had forwarded my e-mail to all the officers of his team, un-adapted or modified.  The boomeranging trail was simply ended with a note from the team leader inviting me to 'see the reply below': one officer had, not surprisingly, responded in a short, direct manner.

Now, I have a few issues with the events as they occurred, but the main one being that a senior officer simply forwarded a genuine work-based issue to their team without either, checking with me directly first if they needed to understand my request, or even to let me know if I had raised my concerns in an in-approriate manner. They then had not even softened the issue by raising it with the team verbally and in his own words, or by adapting my e-mail so that it came 'from him'.

Angered by this I then contacted my team leader expressing my disappointment at the above, i.e. the affect it could have on my working relationship with my colleagues for example.

Bored yet? It gets better.

Today I was told by my team leader, that my original e-mail had apparently been perceived to be so inappropriate that I was very close to being 'spoken to' by my Senior Officer. (Its a whole hierarchy thing. You may have noticed.)

The insanity of the process even got from the team leader, to his senior officer who took it to their colleague, my 'senior officer', and thence to the departmental manager.

Fortunately for me, my team leader has an abundance of common sense and actually defended my actions and even argued that my original e-mail points were valid. Sadly, that issue seems to have been lost in what I shall now forever refer to as 'e-mailgate'.

So today, myself and my team leader had a little chat about it all and, even though at the time I was extremely annoyed at 'e-mailgate' the insanity of the fallout brightened my day no-end.

I shall only say one thing on the matter: it appears to me that, from my personal and no-doubt limited and ill-informed perspective, the lunatics have indeed taken over my asylum.

Saturday, 3 July 2010


Big word.

Big meaning. Big affect.

I have been disappointed and have disappointed as a result.

Its the one thing we can all be assured of, that on many an occasion we will disappoint someone we care about, or be disappointed by some thing.

In my case I got so angry as a consequence not only of my managers' (yes, that's plural) apparent inability to recognise their responsibility for the current state of affairs, my disappointment boiled over resulting in my speechless departure from a meeting before I said things that probably would have got me sacked or, at the very least, a written warning.

Following from that little 'fit of pique' my week did not go well so by Friday my head was not in its best place.

So, I passed my disappointment forward by not attending a social gathering for a friend's son's 17th birthday. As I have known the lad since he was but a bump this did not go down well.

I have disappointed his mother, not unreasonably, by my 'selfish' actions of preferring to stay at home and solve my depression using the power of wine rather than attending the party.

As I have since texted back - it was not my intent to 'disappoint', but then are any of our actions to do that?

That's the problem with disappointment. Its reflexive. We feel it as a consequence of someone else doing or saying something we didn't want them to.

I say: learn to accept that most people don't do what you want them to. Over the years I have been disappointed by many people but I would never make them feel bad about it by actively bringing it to their attention. Maybe that's another of my disappointing traits: maybe I should insist friends and family do things I want them to do more, and tell them I am disappointed in them if they choose not to.

What is Life if not a series of disappointments.

You'd think we'd be used to it by now?

There is always Hope.