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Anticipating Tuesday, Six Weeks Later 26 July 2010

Posted by The Inimitable M in Life.
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I worked very hard to institute the work rules in June.  Six weeks later, they almost work.  I’ve done my part, and so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 10 run efficiently.  Instead of succumbing to the frustrations that still accompany 6, 7 and 8, though, I’ve learned to guide the misguided. 

In the old days, when someone asked about my personal life, I told them.  It didn’t matter who they were, if they asked, they got a full answer.  I always felt if they didn’t want to know, they shouldn’t have asked. 

This really is bad practice in business, no matter how friendly you are with your authors.  There’s building a sense of family, and then there’s involving the “family” in ways that lead to gossip, misunderstanding and good old “TMI”. 

Really, there’s no need for the entire group to know you’re wearing purple undies today or that you missed a spot shaving, right?  There’s also no need to tell everyone when they ask about the kids that one of them had a flat tire yesterday, or that their dog threw up on the carpet, or that they had to go to the car wash after splashing through a muddy puddle on the way to work.

I’ve trained myself now, when asked about my personal life, to say, “Everyone’s doing fine,” or skip the question entirely.  I talk about business always, but my personal life is a short postscript, as far as anyone else is concerned.  They don’t need to know, and I don’t need to tell them.

I have an old friend to whom I write 2 or 3 times a week, and we use my personal email account.  It’s usually short and just “Howdy!  How are you doing?  Life is going along here…” and maybe there might be a line or two about what’s going on.  I’ve known him for years and years.  Our kids are about the same age.  We’ve compared graduation notes, chatted about their cars or their boyfriends/girlfriends, and yet, as close as we are, we never quite got to the “what colour is your underwear today?” nosiness that some people must have in order to exist.  And if I’m not going to be that way with him, I’m not going to be that way with anybody. 

I still have to get this through, gently, to a few others.  I really do care when I ask “How are the kids?” or “How’s life treating you?”, but I really don’t want to know about someone’s  underwear, and I wish a few would quit volunteering that sort of information.  Heck, I don’t even have to ask and they’ll tell me everything every day, right down to having spinach stuck in their teeth at dinner the night before!

Still, as long as they keep doing it, I can do a mental keyword search, look for work-related information, and skip the rest.  Eventually, they’ll get the idea.   

As for arguing over details, I have annoyed some people in the process, but I don’t yell or make demands.  If they have a particular disagreement, they will present it rationally, without argument, and with a solid qualification for staying with the original, or I quietly say, “This is how it is going to be,” and be done with it. 

I am, after all, The Editor.

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Comments»

1. RaShelle - 26 July 2010

Sounds like you’re getting things where you want them Ms. M. Now the question is: Do you want to know if they’re not wearing ANY undies???? LOL. I kid. Great post and great going. I’m sure it’s helped you out a lot. Hope your Monday has treated you fantastic.
xoxo
A writer friend (no I’m not, although if I were they might be purple cuz that’s my fav color. Well, maybe red. Mmmm, I’ll have to think about it. Oh, wait. TMI. LOL . . . Go ahead and cyber bitch smack me. I’m sooo teasing you right now.)


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