I don’t get reprimanded often. I’ve always been an A/B student, a member of countless clubs at every academic level, an officer of many of said clubs, and an active volunteer with various organizations. I’m kind to others and patient with them, taking in what they say and doing my best to make them feel like they are special and important, no matter what I actually think of them. I go out of my way to make sure a job is done well, and I typically ensure it’s completely in a timely fashion and with the proper professionalism and/or personalization. I’m the Type-A overachiever; but I do so in manner that isn’t off-putting to others, but rather is admirable and inspirational. et cetera.
I don’t get reprimanded often, because I’m pretty fucking badass and do what needs to be done in an acceptable manner.
but what this means is that when I am reprimanded, I lose my shit. I don’t have much experience in being scolded, so I don’t respond well.
constructive criticism from a peer or an expert in the field, I can handle. when a client is giving advice on how to offer better customer service, I (like to think) I listen and consider.
but when it’s a superior, a boss, a guide, a mentor — I crack. it’s imperative this person above me understands that I’m competent and reliable. I’ll obey orders, but not blindly. I’ll follow instructions, but I’ll still look for other alternatives. I’ll provide great service with a good outcome, and I’ll do so that minors the inconveniences to others, said superior included. I’ll take the initiative and create new projects for me in my down time, and I’ll help others with theirs.
but when I’m scolded, when there’s a finger wagging at me, I turn into a small Little Me and ball up in the corner. rather than taking to heart what they say and learning from it, I cower and start a well-recited litany of self-hate and disappointment. echoing in my head are all my flaws and shortcomings, every mistake I made and action I regret, all the embarrassments, all the failures, and all the shame. I spiral down so quickly.
I become an angel crashing from the heavens immediately after having had my wings sliced off. I’m the gravity of the situation hitting Newton’s prime competitor on the head only moments before him.
Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it.
~ Vaclav Havel ~
no one knows my flaws like I do — I’m self-righteous, I’m impatient, I’m demanding, I hold high expectations, I have severe anger issues, I expect proficiency in all things, I’m selfish, I’ve no concept of time, I’m unreliable in keeping hangout plan, I’m avoidant, I’m distant, I’m needy, etc.
and honestly, that’s not even what’s going on most of the time. rather, it’s a superior instructing me as to what I should have done in a previous situation. “you shouldn’t have been speeding”, “you should have been coming to work on time”, “you should have known better”, “you should have worked harder” — “you should have…” and they’re right. I mean, in most cases, they are completely accurate! so why then does it bother me so much?
I finally got officially reprimanded for my tardiness at work. for a while in the past, it was due to both hangovers and medication changes. in the last few months, however, it’s been due to the fact that I am reluctant to admit that I’ve woken up yet again.
I keep treating life as if I’m going to get lucky and not wake up tomorrow. I’ve shut out all my friends, I’ve left almost of all my clubs and groups, I’ve restricted all of my social networks and connections, and I’ve made no efforts to make tomorrow any better than today was. I’ve been living “one day at a time”, and I feel it’s getting me into trouble.