Identifying The Silly Rabbit….Waking Up From My Blogging Stupor

So, I took a mini sabbatical from blogging because of the balance I needed to strike in my professional life.  I’m a working entrepreneur. I build someones brand while pursuing my career mission of sales consulting, training, seminars and book writing.  So far, so good.  When people ask me how I get it all in, I have one simple reply:  “I don’t sleep.”  I’m not a part of the Cullen clan and I don’t use a caffeine IV drip although my Yelp check-ins at Starbucks would allude to something different, I just choose to make sleep optional until I’m in a position that allows me the comfort of rest.

All of that being disclosed, I decided to rise from blogger sleep mode thanks to a recent experience.  Nothing will spark the writing juices like a “nasty gram”, which I received from someone, assuming that I intentionally spelled their name wrong.  This was silly to me for so many reasons.  First, those of you who have read my blog know that I believe that a name is important for some pretty in-depth reasons.  Secondly, the misspelling was unintentional and more specifically an error (yes, I make occasional mistakes) committed because I was rushing and not paying attention.  Third, because it was smoke and mirrors allowing this person to “get back at me” (funny but sad), for addressing previous bad behavior.

Referring to a previous post, I spent three months in an environment where my name was incorrectly labeled as “Stacy” on my phone display, which had been programmed before my start date.  It took me a significant period of time and several instances of actually being called Stacy, as well as incidents that made me question my value before I addressed it in the form of a blog post.  Had someone misspelled my actual name wrong on an internal note, I may have noticed it but would have assumed it was an unintentional error that didn’t need to be addressed.

I didn’t have to dig far into my mental Rolodex to understand the situation.  I have ZERO internal rapport with the person whose name I misspelled and her usual demeanor is pretty harsh so it wouldn’t be hard for her to believe the worst of other people–particularly one that she doesn’t like for some created reason.  The lesson in all of this for me: 1) You will judge people based on your own behavior so it’s smart to be introspective and 2) Petty workplace behavior is limiting.

If you think you are a conduit for negative work culture, Ask yourself a few questions so that you can determine IF or WHAT you need to change:

1) Do I give people a reason to have a poor perception of who I am professionally and personally?

2) Have I ever and am I currently referenced as someone who has a bad attitude?

3) Do I make excuses for my behavior or justifying my behavior?

4)  Is there a known “time of day” that I am most approachable? (i.e., you have to know when to approach Mary, she’s definitely not a morning person”)

5) Am I the source for gossip?  Do I routinely engage in negative conversation about my colleagues?  Could I be used as the face of the company to welcome new peers?

6) Have I been confronted by someone regarding my behavior or about something that I have directed toward them?  How did I react?

7) Do I have different work policies and practices depending on who I am supporting? Is my internal customer support as high as my external, lower, or the same?

8) Have I ever been embarrassed about my behavior but refused to apologize? Do I refuse to acknowledge my poor judgment?

9) Have I had poor interaction with more than one person with my behavior being questionable?

10) Do I ever think about being better? (Yes, would be a good thing.  No, is usually a sign of disillusionment).

While the title includes the cliché of “silly rabbit” and you know the ending, the correct term for someone carrying out personal vendettas by using a small amount of workplace power is “playing reindeer games”.  Remember that reindeer live on a harness and dirty behavior will provide the same limited movement in your career.  This is a lesson that we could ALL learn from.

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14 thoughts on “Identifying The Silly Rabbit….Waking Up From My Blogging Stupor

  1. All my life people have spelled my name wrong. It is spelled Arleen and just about everyone spells it Arlene. I used to correct people and it made no difference. I no longer let it bother me.

    As I get older I really don’t care as much of what people think of me. I try to be a good person, respect those around and most of all respect myself. If you respect yourself, respecting others comes naturally. Don’t get me wrong, I am just as sensitive as the next person but getting caught up in other peoples minutia will bring you down.

    Interesting also about how I get it all in, it is called insomnia. I can’t shut my mind off. I tried everything. I wish I could make sleep optional but nothing works for me, so I have stopped fighting it.

    Glad to hear you are back.

    • Thanks for the welcome and for reading! I agree about getting caught up in minutiae. I let someone refer to me as Stacy for three months because it wasn’t getting in my way so I doubt that the spelling would have been cause for a threatening note.
      In this case it took a lot not to confront the individual about the continued petty behavior until I realized that I am not the real issue, she has difficulties that I can’t let myself get caught up in outside of the great idea for a post!
      I have gone through three sleep studies and still have battles with insomnia, the only way to conquer it has been filling the time with learning, writing, etc.

      • I hear you. I have battled with insomnia all my life. I have gone to a sleep center as well. When I was a child my father being a doctor did house calls. I would wait up for him until 2:00 o’clock in the morning and then had to get up early the next day for school.What I have been told is that my biological clock is off and it is something that is hard to change. So now I will read late at night or knit. The one thing that has helped is getting off of the computer by 8:00 PM.

      • The computer suggestion seems like a good idea although impractical for my current objectives! I was told the same thing about my biological clock. I started this around 10th grade and it hasn’t changed.

  2. Not getting caught up in another’s drama can be difficult, but sounds like you’re doing just that. Even though it seems like it might affect you, a closer look may reveal that it doesn’t…not in a real way.My grandmother used to say, “What other people think of me is none of my business.” It’s sounds great, but hard to live. Still, I try to think of that if someone really gets to me.

    • Great point Jacquie, something that I have told my own children. It’s funny that even when you have a wealth of experience and are training others, you still run into the same type of people and deal with some of the same issues. The thing that has changed is how I deal with them.

  3. Great article and excellent questions. In an office setting where you often live in close proximity to people you might not ever speak to otherwise, there are going to be the occasional difficult moments. Given the opportunity for those unavoidable bits of misery, seems a shame to spend time looking for them or inventing them. What’s more, having read your blog, I suspect that if you wanted to irritate someone you could be a lot more creative than misspelling their name. 🙂

    • Thanks for the compliment, Debra! I always say that the worst people to insult are writers and comedians, but they also tend to be the people that will be honest about where you stand with them.
      You make a good point about the unavoidable occasions for misunderstandings which is exactly why I don’t seek them out. The interesting thing is that I’ve worked in very large work environments where it is impossible to know everyone and experienced less drama. What I’m figuring out is that if you interview in a small environment and there are segments of people that don’t know or speak to each other, there are underlying issues. Small towns come with the usual hodgepodge of stuff: gossip, everyone knows your business, etc; but the bottom line is people know each other. A small business of 50 or less people shouldn’t have pockets of people that don’t know each other!

  4. Since being here in the US I have been called Claris, Clara, Clarissa, someone once said it was too difficult to remember so they were going to call me Kate… I can think of worse names to be called! My husbands grand-daughter calls me Care (Shes only 18 months old awww) and I always say if youre going to bring drama to my door then don’t mind me while I jump onto my comfy fence because drama is tiring and if people don’t like me then ah well. Better to just be me than a fake me just to please people, I think that came with getting older ; )

    • I find nothing hard about the name Claire but I have to say that it’s not the first time that I’ve heard someone say, “I’ll just call you”…that may be the point at which I would correct the individual.
      The funny thing about drama is that it is the only “tiring” activity that I find people in the workplace WILLING to volunteer for!
      Thanks for reading, I will definitely return the favor.

  5. Someone needs to get over themselves… LOL… that’s what I think. I love your questions!!! More people could use these. It is so easy to get caught up in the negativity and drama and not even realize you have. I’m with Debra, I think you would have been much more creative then missspelling her name. 🙂

    • Thanks for reading Susan. You know when I find myself taking things too personally, I learned to pause and ask “is this really about you?” it helps to prevent me from stepping into a mountain of unnecessary drama. A friend always told me that the best bet for getting along with others is to “stay out of your own head and you won’t be able to invent problems that don’t really exist”, he’s right! In this person’s case I think they have been fighting with me for two or three months, riling themselves up and waiting for an opportunity to pounce, I didn’t know about the imaginary fight so it didn’t interrupt my productivity 🙂

    • I don’t know if anyone can say that they don’t care AT ALL. I think what I would focus on is making the weight of the impact of what they are saying small and putting everything in perspective. The opinion of the person that pays you=Matters and if you’re working for the right person tends to be based on the constructive need to see you be better or encourage. From a professional perspective, just know who counts and who doesn’t…that’s just the way it is.

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