Tuesday, April 11, 2006


I was counseled last week...about my attitude. I was told that my perception here at work was a "Gunslinger." Now little did he know that I would take that as a compliment due to a series of novels by Stephen King. My ego aside...during our conversation I'd asked him to expound on this perception and why they felt it so.

His explanation puzzled me. Basically he stated that I was well respected for my technical expertise, however the perception was that if I was told to do something that I didn't agree with I would argue about it, or not let go of the issue after a managerial decision had been made. I asked if they really wanted employees that would do what they thought was wrong. He explained that there was my trouble, that it wasn't about right and wrong...and he eventually mentioned gray areas. I hate "gray areas" it's usually just so much B.S. fools throw around in order to do the wrong things. In my mind, and my experience, gray is the color of failure.

Perhaps it is because I've been around computers for so long, or the fact Spock was a childhood mentor, or the oddities of my genetic makeup...but I see almost everything in a binary fashion. On or off, right or wrong, good or bad, smart or stupid, strong or weak...you get the point. There was no specific mention of anything I had ever actually refused to do here at work, and as best as I recall I've never actually refused to do anything I've been asked or eventually told to do. I am not now nor have I ever been pliable however, and I believe it is this facet of my personality that they find objectionable.

As explained to me I was too tenacious if a decision was made against my recommendations. A reference was loosely made about reminding managers that they were advised against something when their decision turned out to be wrong.

Now me being the type of person I am inside, I took these criticisms to heart, and began thinking about corrective actions that I could take. Perhaps it was just me. Perhaps I am wrong. I make these considerations internally all the time...it's what makes me sure when I believe I am right.

This thought process kept me up all night, I truly wondered how to fix this issue. To the point that I went to my manager the next day, and continued the conversation, and asked how best to deal with my personality. We talked for another hour or so and I further considered things.

I was really getting down on myself, until I was reminded of my principles. The truth is that in this oh so politically correct world where we coddle to the lowest common denominator, and avoid any and everything that could even remotely offend...we are all being held hostage.

This shift in behavior is exemplified, for me anyway, by the differences between Star Trek, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. The addition of a "counselor" on the bridge is a prime example of fiction pandering to reality...Kirk would have had only one use for Couselor Troi...and it wouldn't be to garner the enemy's 'feelings!' Who gives a shit how they feel? Blast them!

But that's my method of problem solving, not the masses. I see a problem, I fix it...next? I don't need to consider the feelings of the person responsible for making the error, I don't care...they should feel like the dumbass they are, and try not to feel that way again...by not being a dumbass again!

Instead I am expected, nay required, to consider those deemed to be 'in charge' and not hurt their little feelings by pointing out that I was right in the first place, and they were wrong. Tell me where the gray is between right and wrong? Same as that between being pregnant or not I expect.

I have no intention of changing to appease these sensitive folks. In the words of "Happy Bunny" whom I have enshrined in my office on a coffee cup:
"I'm not mean. You're just a sissy."

I remain non-compliant.