Sunday, May 17, 2015

687, 686, 685...what follows what?

At work, there's a pattern of behaviour that is exhibited by all parties involved. Initially interest, then some relief at having found someone to do the job, then one party gets too demanding and pushy, the other party gets resentful and resistant, then harsh communication exchanged wherein both parties' contribution is undermined, then very hurt feelings, then a throwing up of hands, but then finally some peace is brokered to get the job done.

I notice that usually I am at the receiving end of some of this behaviour. What has started happening is that I have started exhibiting the behaviour of the 'other side' (I wanted to use the word 'perpetrator' but that would not be correct) on my help. I get really irritated with the two of them. When I hired them to clean an cook, I thought they would know whatever there is to know to get their respective jobs done. But the cleaning lady did not know how to make the bed or use Harpic to clean the floor or open and close the door which has a simple locking system but the lady kept locking herself in or out of the room. Then she would ask me to come and help her. The cooking lady did not know what a tetrapack was. She doesn't know how to use a mixer or a blender and will not learn and is usually a few minutes late. Which means that sometimes I have to rush off without my dabba and routinely without breakfast but I do have some dinner when I get back. These ladies are from the village so they are a little raw. They need to be taught and trained.

Now, I return from office really late - the last month, it was routinely past midnight. By the time I go to bed, it's usually two or three, so I hate it when these women holler for me to help them with this or that - stuff which I feel they should already know. They charge me the same as the earlier help I had but they don't know the same amount of stuff so they don't do the same amount of stuff. Which has started bothering me now.

Like today, the cook said that the gas cylinder needed to be changed and she didn't know how to do it. Which pissed me off. More because when I had hired her, she hadn't told me that she didn't know how to do that. And even more because when I had hired her, I forgot to ask her whether she knew how to do that or not. I had also forgotten to ask her whether she can coo non-veg. The answer to that is 'no' also. But I pay her the same as the earlier one who knew how to do all that. So, I seem to hold her accountable for coming on time, allowing her no leeway to be late - because it's as if she has to compensate for all the things that she does not know, simply because I pay her an 'x' amount and she was expected to do 'x' amount of stuff.

This is exactly the vibe I get at work on a couple of projects sometimes.

If the situation is not swathed in enough irony, then here's the final swish of the stuff - I work in training. I work to create content that will be useful for people in exactly these situations - adults in a workplace who find themselves in a job they may need assistance with. Training is the best way to handle such situations because firing them or threatening them with paycut always proves more expensive and detrimental to a company in the long-run. That is my job. I ought to know hw to wor with my help better but I don't do that. Today I blasted both of them. I told them that when they go and pick up a job in a place, they need to tell the employers that they don't know how to do these things because otherwise the amount they ask for doesn't make sense.

I feel badly about it now. When similar things are told or insinuated to me at work by a client or a colleague, I don't like it. Why should I dish it out to someone else?

When I was six years old, I had gotten burned. For that reason, I have been wary of the kitchen and its attendant risks - the pressure cooker, the stove, etc. Of course, I have had to learn to use all of that sufficiently to feed myself but changing the gas cylinder was the last frontier. So far I did not learn because I could get away with not knowing. It was like that with me even with regard to driving. When it was an absolute necessity, it's only then that I learned. Otherwise I was happy using public transport.

Anyway, these women may also have their own issues. I am very tempted to just ask them to leave because I don't want to start my day so agitated and angry. My chest feels constricted after I am done with them. They also begin their day with someone undermining their work. I think what upsets me more is that they have revealed the dichotomy in my life. I earn my living doing something that I won't do for free even if it will serve my purpose.

Maybe I should let things be for a little while. Get a little patient with them. Get a little patient with myself. Be more mindful of how vibes at work are getting under my skin. Breathe.

I checked out a couple of YouTube videos. I should be okay with changing the cylinder now. But I just checked - I have gas for the next three or four days. Maybe the cook hadn't turned the knob properly.


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