Chaos Attraction

Does Being Positive Pay Off?

2014-02-01, 9:35 a.m.

Yesterday, with a couple of exceptions, was the best week I've had at work since I started public service training.

The exceptions: I got told officially that I didn't get the job and why, but since I already knew four days earlier, I was absolutely cool as a cucumber about it. Which made it easier on everyone--I do understand why they did it and it doesn't mean that they hate me or anything. And then I thanked the coworker who deduced it for telling me so I wasn't completely shocked and surprised when the hammer went down. What was bad was two days later when everyone was applauding the other chick for getting the job and she was giving a little speech about how she figured out via career counseling that she didn't like public service. Someone who wasn't me yelled out, "You needed a test for that?" Um, yeah, because if I'm the one who obviously hates it the most, she's definitely #2. Except in her case she actually knows the answers to things. I did not applaud, I looked down at my lap the entire meeting feeling bad. Okay, so probably only four or five people (still don't know if the winning candidate herself knows about this) there knew about me, but there is definitely some shame and embarrassment that goes on whenever I apply here and then someone else is far more wonderful.

Ironically, I signed up to take a training class run by her next week....which I did because that will get me out of the office for half of a "you have to be on the phones" day. Weighing the balance of "no offense to you because I like you otherwise and am kinda disappointed we weren't ending up on the same team like I thought, but right now I'd rather not hang around you so much" versus phones, and it was no contest. I'll look for any reason to not be in the office Tuesdays and Thursdays and Friday afternoons in winter.

Anyway, back to the week being better than usual: it was because I more or less did not end up on the phones. Which is to say that yes, I did get forced to run them, BUT my phone has developed some kind of delightful problem in which you no longer hear it ringing. I don't know why it's doing that and no, I didn't do it deliberately, tempting as that might sound. But I was getting in trouble for not answering the phone when it rang, and I kept saying, "I've been sitting right here for a half hour, did you hear it ring? I did not." It has not been fixed yet, so I"ll enjoy that while it lasts. Also, this week's role play phone training got canceled because the chick running it left early on Friday, so bonus!

Other than sitting in dread wondering when I'd have to go on them again, and oddly enough that did not happen much on the last two days of the week--it was good. I got some relative peace and quiet and could actually start to feel somewhat comfortable again, or at least less of a strung-out mess by Friday afternoon. And as for working the counter, I somehow didn't get ANY hugely problematic people coming in for a change, so giant whew there.

I wish every week could be like that. Honestly, I could take being here forever if dreading the phones wasn't an issue. (And I must note that theoretically, they claimed it wasn't when I started, hahahahahahah.)

A few years ago, I applied for another job here and didn't get it. It has opened up again because yet another wonderful internal candidate got another job we had open. A few people have told me to try for this one. I have applied for it twice so far, got as far as an interview but didn't get it the second time. I honestly can't say I have anything more or different to recommend me for it now than I did last time, when I was actually working in that department part time. If that wasn't good enough qualification, or if the boss just doesn't like me as much as I thought she did, or whatever... how would it go any differently? I'd submit the same resume and say the same things as before. Unless everyone else is somehow a lot worse than me, well....

So people are getting on me about how I should be a Positive Thinker, because It Will Make Things Happen if I always believe everything will go sunny side up. Well, I was thinking positively about this new job and fantasizing about how it would be like to go back to my old department and get a raise and things like that and um..... it didn't. And yesterday there was a possibility that Merry would be let out of husband jail for a night (he wanted to go to a party in SF and she was feeling very unwell to go to such a party), and if he would let her not come, we could hang out. And there I was, fantasizing about that and looking forward to it all day like it was actually going to happen. But of course, she was not let out of husband jail. God forbid the two lovebirds be parted for any longer than it takes for someone to go to work, seriously. (I probably shouldn't call it "husband jail" because OMG OFFENSIVE TO MARRIEDS, but....seriously, if you have to ask permission all the fucking time to leave the house without him and can't get it unless you are going to work or the grocery store, it's kinda jail. I'm calling it like I see it.)

It's always stuff like that that makes me think, "Seriously, thinking positively makes things happen? Since when?" If I'm supposed to be feeling the good feelings and fantasizing about it happening and then it makes things happen...I honestly can't say I can think of a case where that flat out worked. I know I'm a hippie and everything, but I honestly don't think that if I think happy things will happen, that will make happy things happen. Happy thoughts don't have any effect over other people who have already decided otherwise here, for example. I just don't see that evidence lining up. I truly don't think your thoughts are changing other people's choices like that.

I tend to be a believer in the power of opposite thinking, i.e. if I believe with all my heart that something will happen, the opposite tends to go down. Which means that if I want something to happen, I need to think that it won't, and vice versa. Opposite thinking tends to work a lot better in my experience, like getting into the application-only writing classes in college. Got in every time I applied even though it didn't seem likely. But if I go around kinda mentally gloating that I should be a slam dunk for an internal job....hahahahahahnooooooooo. I do totally agree with the quote of The good thing about being a pessimist is that I'm either always right, or pleasantly surprised. I prefer the pleasantly surprised, but if I turn out to be right, at least I was prepared ahead of time instead of being devastated and shocked to the point of not being able to front well.

I have been thinking that perhaps I should spend some time---perhaps a month, perhaps the shortest month of the year-- trying to Be Positive!!!!, or at least being less me about things. I have a couple of books on that I am going through. But dear lord, it just looks so hard. I don't know if I could make being Perky And Happy And Believing through this weekend starting today, much less a shorter month. My exes were all Positive People and I honestly can't say it was working well at all for one of them, other than to make him happier until the inevitable hammer of reality dropped on him. (Everyone else did not have as shitty of a life.) But on the other hand, being me doesn't seem to work either. I don't know what to do any more.

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