Friday, January 1, 2010

Anonymity is over-rated - the expanded version because I thought of some other stuff

In light of the new year, I am starting a new comment policy because sometimes (gasp) people leave a comment ! And sometimes, those comments need to be monitored. I allow anonymous comments on this blog, and have for a while now - I was sort of giving it a dry run, to see if it encouraged more commenting. It didn't really. It did, however, allow people to be a bit snarky, which I am not a fan of. It's cool to be anonymous, but not cool to use anonymity to say things you might not otherwise say.
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am all about saying what you mean, and meaning what you say. And owning your actions......which is hard to balance with using a pseudonym. But the people in my life know I write this. I link the posts on Facebook. It's not a secret, by any means. Anyone can come here anytime and read what I have to say. They know who they are, they know who I'm talking about, they've already heard me bitch about all of this stuff on the phone or at the bar or over a cup of coffee, and we talk about the things I write here very openly.

Which brings me to my point. I complain about stuff - and people - all the time. And people in my life don't hold back in complaining about my drama, or someone else's drama. I am working on being honest as kindly as possible, while still communicating what I really think. It's hard - I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but sometimes the truth hurts. So when I read a comment that I find obnoxious, especially one written anonymously, I have to stop and think about the point they may be trying to make. See it from another side. Be honest with MYSELF. And last week, when someone asked how my co-workers would feel picking up my slack while I jetted off for a two week vacation, I sat and contemplated the point. I did. And here's what I have to say about it, Anonymous:

I would feel terrible if my co-workers felt that they were picking up my slack. And the comment made me feel like an asshole. A big one. I called my manager, in fact. I had spoken with her several times before booking the tickets, and she had told me to go, not to think about it, and that the shifts would work themselves out. Neither one of us thought anyone would resent getting some extra hours after Christmas. I also made sure that while my husband hadn't spoken directly to his boss, that he HAD comunicated with his co-workers to make sure everyone was cool with him going, and that there were no big projects in the works, or other people out on vacation. I talked to friends and co-workers. And here is what THEY said:

Picking up slack is not covering someone's vacation.
Picking up slack is doing someone else's job while they stand around NOT doing their job. Picking up slack is covering for someone who is sitting in the cooler texting, or sitting at a table chatting, or cruising the internet instead of doing their job. Picking up slack is working because someone blew off a shift. Picking up slack is doing extra work because someone doesn't know how to do their job, or doesn't feel like it.

Picking up slack can definitely lead to resentment. I don't think this is that. Maybe I am wrong. (comments welcome below on this subject)

Listen, it comes down to this: I have happily covered for co-workers many many times in my life, from smoke breaks to sick kids to mental health days to vacations to spending time with visitors who have come to Maui to see them. And so have my co-workers. We are a team. We work together and love each other and I don't think we have much resentment about covering each other - extra shifts means extra tips.

I guess it all comes down to the golden rule - I try to treat others as I would want to be treated, whether as myself live and in person or writing as Daffodil Campbell, so there isn't really any need for me to communicate anonymously. I am sort of attached to the name Daffodil Campbell however, so I think she's gonna stick around.

If for a tranquil mind you seek,
These things observe with care:
Of whom you speak, to whom you speak,
And how, and when and where.
- Anonymous

1 comment:

qandlequeen said...

My experience has shown that people who make snarky comments about others utilizing vacation time are nothing but jealous. The problem lies within themselves.

Where I work one of the supervisors goes out for lunch just about everyday. The woman most vocal about it usually is brown bagging it and has other financial issues. She makes more than this other supervisor, but her finances keep her close to the office. Is that the first person's problem? Hardly.

Take your vacation and don't look back. Healthy people know when to take a break and not feel guilty about it. Besides, if you never took time off someone would bitch about that too.