More patient than me

Have a cup of tea brewing, and am about to go to an early bed to enjoy a good book. I’m mellowed out. It’s warm without being hot. I’m bare from the waist up, Rigby is laying by my side on his bed, and in the background the TV is showing a program I’m not quite sure if I want to watch yet – Dickensian.

What do I report? I’m back in training in work after a week in the job. The week was good to get out of the way, though hardly fascinating. We’re doing the really basic stuff to start with, and the sole challenge is in mastering an unfamiliar, though simple process. By midweek I was reasonably comfortable with it, and looking to take on something more testing.

I’m lucky in that the two people from training joining me in the same team are pretty well my two favourites. We supported each other through the week, and by Friday had a drink together.

As I’ve mentioned before I’m not a natural fit for a job like this. It’s not just that my experience is foreign, but so to is my temperament and attitude. I even look different.

It’s something that is both a minor concern and reason for gratitude. I wonder how I got the job. I wonder how I fit in. But then I’m glad to be as I am. And I have no great desire to conform.

There was a point during the week that it came to a point. By and large we relied on the 2IC of the team for support. She was generous with her time, but not particularly gracious. Whether that was because of the demands we placed on her, or other reasons I was unsure. I am a confident. I seem confident. I act it. I carry myself with it. I always believe if I don’t know something then I’ll figure it out. In other words, I don’t exhibit a lot of doubt. And, maybe because of my experience, or maybe from who I am, I pretty well act the same way to everyone.

At one stage I went to this person with a query. I noticed that she was browsing the Dan Murphy website, the spirits particularly. I made a joke of it, I could do with a bottle right now I said. There was no reaction, and thinking she hadn’t heard me right repeated it in some fashion. Still nothing. A blank face. Okay, I thought, now I know where I stand.

Later I wondered at it. Was it because she disliked me? Was it just the way she is? Did I over-step the mark – too familiar perhaps, or perhaps not properly respectful of the hierarchy? Or did she see me as some kind of threat?

Whatever the reason, I chose not to take it too heart, and in fact have used it as spur to excel even more.

Speaking – back in training. It’s really quite funny. I don’t know if I’ve got to the age where I notice such things more, or if there is more of it. Being in training is like being back in school, and not because I’m learning things. A number of my colleagues are like kids. They pay attention, the talk quietly, look around at any time and most of them are fidgeting with something – a bit of blue tack, the marking pens, ripping paper into strips, or drawing on a piece.

The most objectionable will loudly yawn every 10-15 minutes without offering a word of excuse. It’s disrespectful and just plain rude. He gets me because he makes no real effort. He’ll interrupt the flow of the class with comments intended to be humorous, but which are not, or he’ll put on a Russian gangster voice at inappropriate times – a muck-up, basically. He won’t pay attention to proceedings, which in a way is an admission that he’s not keeping up – and so if he’s not keeping up he won’t even attend to. He’s pretty much the anti-H.

I should be sympathetic of him. Behind his gruff and disagreeable exterior and his odd idiosyncrasies is a man I think with little confidence and purpose. How much does that excuse?

On top of that I’m being driven by the woman who never stops talking. Never. By now I’ve heard a few of her favourite stories a few times. She’s always jumping in, but only occasionally with something pertinent. Yesterday the instructor asked me a question and as I opened my mouth to answer she jumped in. I couldn’t help but laugh. It was so bloody typical. Basically he told her to shut up and came back to me.

Our instructor is pretty patient, but not terribly happy either. There are some good performers in the room, but overall a lack of consistent focus. It would drive me crazy if I was in his shoes – I’m sure I’d cuff someone, or puff some chalk as one of my high school teachers used to do.

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