Negativity 5 comments


Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.

-Dale Carnegie

After just two days here in Houston, I’ve had enough negativity to last me a long while. To be fair, I’ve been prepared for a certain amount of negativity going into each work trip as the shops we transition to the new ERP system all have some level of resistance to change. People don’t like change, we all get it.

What I don’t understand, however, is if your (the royal you/your) entire work day is consumed by negativity, if nothing makes you happy, then why would you remain? I understand economics can often play a role in someone’s decision or perhaps it falls in the category of There are lots of examples of absolutely bizarre rationalizations made to explain decisions made by broken brains. The effects of a negative or toxic workplace are well documented. So what are your options? Leave with the hope that you’re finding a better, more positive workplace or stay and find a way to make yourself happy. You certainly can’t continue on with the status quo.

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

-Buddha

Unfortunately, in this situation, I don’t have the luxury of leaving. I want to be clear, I’m not speaking about my position, I simply mean the location – I can’t leave this location until my promised support time is up. All I can try to do is offer up positive solutions to the complaints and negative attitudes. If nothing I offer solves their situation, I simply excuse myself and walk away.

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5 thoughts on “Negativity

  • TōB

    Seems to me most of the problem here is being in Houston, which is a garbage city. Maybe I’m just biased against dirty airports, putrid pervasive stench with no clear motivation (at least in Manhattan you can see the garbage rotting in the street), and participating in multiple overnight troubleshooting activities in a run-down data center, but Houston is even worse than Dallas, and Dallas is pretty bad.

    Man, I hate Texas.

    • pcalderone

      Coincidentally, those are the only two Texas cities I’ve ever visited as well. I can’t speak much for either place because I was mainly at the hotel and conference center for our show in Dallas. In Houston, I was also at the hotel and conference room for our show and now I can add the new hotel and our shop. The shop itself is in a dismal industrial area on the port. You can’t expect much from steel buildings, gravel, and dust.

      The best part was that it was in the upper 70’s and 80’s with pristine skies. That made my one and only sojourn to a decent craft brew place more enjoyable. I hit up the Moon Tower Sudworks and 8th Wonder Brewery. The first locale was just out of downtown and was in an older neighborhood. The second was located just inside downtown in what appeared to be a renovated warehouse. Neither location was stunning, but at least I wasn’t bombarded by refuse or fetid squalor.

  • TōB

    By the way, those “broken brains” are literally damaged — by stroke, injury, or etc. — I hope your Houstonian office peers weren’t all literally brain-damaged, but who knows. What does keep somebody in Houston when Austin is *right there*?

    Anyway, one such “bizarre rationalization” made by broken brains is “Hemispatial Neglect,” which in one rather high-profile instance affected a sitting President (Woodrow Wilson) who after a stroke might complain of not having a pencil to write with despite having a cupful sitting on his desk, only too far to the left for him to believe existed.

    From Wikipedia: “For example, a stroke affecting the right parietal lobe of the brain can lead to neglect for the left side of the visual field, causing a patient with neglect to behave as if the left side of sensory space is nonexistent (although they can still turn left). In an extreme case, a patient with neglect might fail to eat the food on the left half of their plate, even though they complain of being hungry. If someone with neglect is asked to draw a clock, their drawing might show only the numbers 12 to 6, or all 12 numbers might be on one half of the clock face with the other half distorted or blank. Neglect patients may also ignore the contralesional side of their body; for instance, they might shave or apply make-up only to the non-neglected side. These patients may frequently collide with objects or structures such as door frames on the side being neglected.”

    I’ve spent a big part of the last 12 weeks or so essentially blind in my right eye, but I never stopped believing that things I couldn’t see over there still existed. That delusion is very unsettling; I can’t imagine the phenomenology of it.

    • pcalderone

      Workplace accidents happen, so I can’t rule anything out. Like you, I hope they aren’t physically injured as well. I would like to check out Austin at some point. If it’s good enough to continue hosting SXSW (with so many amazing musical acts performing), it seems like I’d enjoy that place. That fact alone is preventing me from joining you in “I hate Texas” solidarity.

      I’ve been hemming and hawing about getting that book so I have something to read on the plane. A couple things are standing in the way, though.

      1. I’m in the middle of S by JJ Abrams & Doug Dorst and I hate trying to read two books at once.
      2. I’m still not sure I’m ready to make the leap to reading on my tablet. It’s a tactile thing.
      3. I’m a little worried it might just be a depressing, albeit informative, read for the flight.

      What in the world happened to your eye?

  • TōB

    “What in the world happened to your eye?”

    Retinal tear demanded surgery, recovery involves a gas bubble instead of vitreous fluid in that eye, and now that the gas bubble is receding I am developing a cataract and suspect I have an altered acuity in that eye (for better or worse, I don’t know). It’s been a rough winter.