Friday, March 5, 2010

Today, I bit my tongue

Quite literally today, I gritted my teeth so hard that I'm experiencing pain in my jaw.  I should mention that a dull, throbbing pain was already being experienced thanks to overindulgence of Jelly Belly jelly beans.  Chili mango flavor, if you must know. Hopefully the dentist will see me first thing Monday morning. However, I do think filtering myself increased the discomfort.

OK, back to me biting my tongue and gritting my teeth.  As part of a new training process at work, we had to face some truly biting constructive criticism. By 'we' I mean my lab partners and me.  Without going into detail, it required hearing things never brought to our attention in such an open forum. Also, I took it to heart. "This stings! It's what I do for a living and take pride in; however, I appreciate your honesty."  A tough pill to swallow, for sure. Prior to this training I might have spouted off and went below the line of keeping it professional.  Yeah, imagine me not spewing my personal beliefs and expecting someone to just sit there and take it.

While my lab partners and I discussed how to look at this criticism positively and not as a negative but as a learning experience; opportunity to improve, our regional director listened in. No lying, this hit us where the sun don't shine.  We had to take personal accountability without being defensive. I took notes and was later called upon to be the spokesperson for our group.  Now, as open, flamboyant and silly as I might be, I find it painfully difficult to speak in front of peers and do so in a concise manner. Add to it that I can't read my own handwriting.  I type all the time! Each group had their turn and then it came to awarding recognition.  As a demonstration of how it should be done, our regional manager called upon myself and another tech.  She praised us for our contribution and diligence on owning the criticism and seeking solutions.  It's been a very long time since I've been proud of where I work and what I do, but today reignited the passion and positivity that I once had.  Later I approached three coworkers not in my direct discipline and awarded them cards of appreciation.  All of them seemed astonished and pleased that something they felt had gone unnoticed hadn't.  I spied with my little eye ... "you just gave me chill-bumps. Thank you, Marissa."  Man, oh man. How good it feels to no longer view positivity as a vulnerability.  While it's constantly a work in progress, these first steps launched a whole new viewpoint that was once old.  I can dig it.

Tonight when I arrived home and after starting dinner, I checked my Yahoo.  On the homepage sits my horriblescope.  As we all know, that thing is typically way off base, but provides a good chuckle.  Here's what it had to tell me about today:

"There's usually at least a two-second delay between thought and words -- for most signs, anyway. In your case, it's about a second, on slow days. At the moment, however, there will be no delay, which makes you pretty darned dangerous. Basically, if you were regulated by the FCC, they'd have your license by now. Keep that in mind before you go off on anyone who's not as well armed in the verbal department as you happen to be"

In your face, Yahoo Horoscopes! I beat that rap without having read you first. Hell yeah, I'm in control of my destiny and actions. Suck it, Trebek! (Hey, I can't always censor myself.)

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