30 July 2008


I'm tired of feeling stupid at work. I'm tired of being frustrated.

I don't know exactly what it is, but I can't remember the last time I did something so hard. Normally, I am quick to pick up on something. I learn quickly. But for whatever reason, I'm having a horrible time catching on to the process or methodology that is the norm for research at my new job. Why is it so difficult?

Even worse, my confidence is constantly being undermined by any number of people. I'll think I'm on the right track on a question. Then I talk to my trainer and she makes me feel like a moron. Or I'll get started on something and check in with the resident "expert" or the person to whom I'll be sending my results and I'll question everything I'd done to that point and everything I'd planned to do.

When that happens, I listen to the person telling me to look here or check that source or use this search string and I'll go down a road that has nothing to do with my question. I start second-guessing everything. Then I panic. Or at the very least, I get frustrated.

On the off chance I don't second guess myself and change my strategy halfway through, my trainer will look at my draft and nitpick it to hell. Today, she was very hesitant to let me send something off. She thought it would be too short and I would need to do a bunch more work. I sent it off and the person I sent it to raved about my work. And that's what has happened every time. My trainer or some other person I'm consulting will look at what I've done and I'll think I'm the shittiest researcher and writer ever to walk the earth. I'll send my results off the person who will send them off to the client and that person absolutely loves what I did. Or better yet, the client loves my work.

Maybe their training objective is to tear everyone down and build them up again? Everyone who has ever talked about their training -- even if it was 10 or 15 years ago -- remembers it. And let me tell you, they do not remember it fondly. Are they trying to weed people out? One of my mentors checks in on me a few times a day. Probably to be sure I'm not slitting my wrists or something. She asks at least weekly if I'm going to quit.

Clearly, I am not going to be one of those people giving the testimonials on the website talking about how much I love my job and how I love working at Company X. I'll be amazed if I make it a year. Most of the time, I am amazed that I've made it through a week. I should look on the bright side -- I haven't cried or had to pinch or claw or bite or scratch or otherwise hurt myself in probably two weeks.

So, I guess I have that.

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