Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Inner-Jerk

The stars aligned this morning, and I managed to make it down town thirty minutes before I had to be in the office.  Thirty minutes to myself that I did not anticipate or plan.  It was blissful.  Since I had the time, I decided to grab a cup of expensive coffee.  The line was short and I was soon waiting for my lovely coffee.  

The barista making the coffee was in her grove: checking the cups, steaming milk and moving the cups along.  The song playing in the store changed and she started singing.  She appeared happy.  I found it endearing.  And then something in my head snapped: she was happy at her job.  I am not.  She was genuinely enjoying what she was doing at that moment.  What was endearing became annoying.  I became grumpy, took my coffee and trudged into the office.  

A few years ago, a guy left our office for a clerkship.  A month before he left, he began transitioning one of his cases to me.  One day, he came into my office, closed the door and said:  "I'm not sure what it is about this place, but if you stay for any length of time, it turns you into an a$$hole."  

He was right.  Something about the environment brings out the jerk in people.  The people who survive in our office, who last more than a year, we all become a bit of a jerk.  I've written about snapping at the delivery guy.  I have seen a senior associate be condescending to a waitress, just because he could.  I have seen support staff scream at junior associates over truly mundane matters because that member of the support staff was herself just torn up and down.  Maybe it is self-defense.  Whatever it is, I am not a fan.  I'm not a fan of it in others, and I hate when I see my own inner-jerk come out.  But most of all, I do not want my son to see that part of me.  I want that part of me to go away for good.  There is a time and a place to be a jerk, to bring out one's inner b, but it should not be a routine way of dealing with others, with life.  And it most definately should not be evoked simply by seeing others be happy in their jobs.

No comments:

Post a Comment