Lately I have been becoming gradually more conscious of the quality of output in the workplace. Primarily an assessment of my own performance, but I’ve also been considering the contribution and influence of the workplace collective. If you’ve ever worked anywhere consistently, or in similar environments, you know the different types of workers. There are those who do the absolute minimum, those in between, and those who work hard regardless of workplace circumstance. My focus is on the latter, those who are good, consistent workers wherever they are. I’ve known a few, and I always admired them. I always felt like whatever they told themselves to stay motivated was obviously more effective and better-serving than those who slacked.
I was recently contacted by a ridiculously cute fling of mine circa June 2012. We’d met in February of that year and hit it off right away, constantly flirting and being all sweet. Deep down I knew it wasn’t serious, but like the 20-year-old me at the time was projecting all sorts of ideas that just weren’t factual. The original ending came shortly after some things happened, and he slowly faded away. At the time I was immersed in everything I could be, so it wasn’t such a hard hit. Well it kind of was, but only in the way that something artificial could be. It’s simply what you think about it that makes it tough.
Moving on, he and I didn’t talk for over a year. June 2012 to September 14, 2013 when he messaged me on Facebook. Facebook is awesome in that it has messages from ‘friends’ in one folder, and messages under ‘other’ from …not-friends. It was October 15, 2013. I had to triple check what year the message was from. The message itself was thoughtful and well written, with him wondering why we ever stopped being “friends”. This kills me. I like to think of myself as a liberal person in most contexts. I love individuality and whenever people embrace their truth. I admire those who live louder than I do, not seeming to care what others think. However, some of my ideals aren’t always fitting in practice for my own life. One of those ideals is FWB (friends with benefits), or sex with friends. I don’t really flirt with friends, and when I do, there’s no sexual drive behind it. At least not on my part. In my experience, I have found it particularly troublesome to try to maintain a meaningful friendship with boundaries once the boundaries have been violated. I’m not saying that it can’t work, it simply hasn’t for me.
Anyhow, this guy is the king of the fade out. Well, maybe the prince of the fade out. He’d come around for a bit, texting me, doting on me a bit and reverting to the flirting that once had potential. I always responded with caution since that sort of approach is always suspicious at first. What was he thinking, I’d totally revert back and put out or something? Foolish man! I simply humoured him when I felt like talking, which wasn’t as often as before.
November 28, he texts me incessantly for about 20 minutes. I was busy, and when I returned, I saw 7 texts. I responded and we talked a bit about superficial things. I became annoyed when he said “I recently just got myself a girlfriend, I can’t flirt with you anymore.”, which annoyed me at first, but then became laughter because I literally had no more interest in him as a potential partner. I also never initiated flirting, nor had participated in it in over a year. I made a conscious decision to let go of this individual. Perhaps he is a good guy at heart, but it’s clearly not a fit for something more substantial as it shouldn’t be this difficult to maintain friendship. I explained to him how being “friends” didn’t feel like the right thing for me anymore.
I had a moment, a shift moment because of this. A branch that had been extended seemingly indefinitely at one point, was cut off. I was free of the role I played in the past. I was not required to greet him warmly anymore, as I feel abundant and free with my relationships now. Everything that’s been happening for me as of late has been part of a natural feeling evolution, and I felt such relief letting this thing go. In fact I giggled as I did it, which to my signifies that it is the right move at this time. Maybe several years down the road we’ll meet again in alternate circumstance. Though if we don’t, I still wish him and his girlfriend the best.
Those who slack don’t realize that while they may “get away” with slacking, they don’t in reality. Their lack of output is noticed, and it’s a drain on the workplace. These types are so common however, that in lower-ranking jobs (ie. frontline customer service) where turnover is high, these people are more accepted as part of the average. The interesting thing is that the role and the amount of effort does not truly correlate. From my experience, I have seen people who make $25,000 a year work thrice as “hard” as someone who makes $70,000 or $80,000 a year. Granted it is a different type of work we’re referring to, with the $70,000 – $80,000 a year role (in the average company anyway) would likely partake in more high-level output, rather than more direct result frontline the $25,000 role would pay.
As I’ve matured, I’ve begun to see that I typically fall in between slacking and exerting effort above and beyond. It depends largely on factors such as whether I find the work challenging, rewarding, fulfilling, etc., or if I am complacent and unhappy. Variety is the key for me, and always challenging myself. I do my best to maximize my output as well as limit costs for the company I work for. Although the sick time is paid and some abuse it, I don’t see those resources as appearing out of thin air. I see it as a pool that is far above me, which allows me to prosper to the degree that I am contributing to the overall image. That’s only my perception though, and not at all something that anyone else is responsible for adopting. The same goes for the quality of output in the workplace or in life overall.
Everything that happens goes through a filter of beliefs and pre-determined judgment based on someone’s reference points. What they have found works, they tend to stick with. It makes sense. Before recently assuming my new role, I was falling a bit into the lazy-midway point. The variety and challenge that came with the new role has revitalized my effort and my overall expenditure in life.
Weight is a funny thing. For most people, it’s so gradual that you gain 5, 10, 15, even 30 lbs. Most don’t even see it happening, myself included. I mean, you know. You have to know, but when you look in the mirror, it’s tough to see something so gradual influence the way you see what you see. In my case, I’m fortunate in the sense that I proportion weight quite well. I am actually significantly heavier than I look, so when I gain 5 or 10 lbs, it’s easy not to notice. In August, I’d shed 20 lbs in 21 days. Or 21 lbs in 20 days, I can’t quite remember. What motivated that was some implied judgment from a doctor (to clarify, he said I was healthy, but he merely was excited to hear me say I intended to shed the excess weight). This clued me in to what motivates me.
This time however, the motivation came last night. I was talking to a friend about this shirt I made, and he asked to see it on me. I positioned my camera to take a picture and I saw my figure. While still sort of a figure, it was certainly not as slim as it was the last time I took a picture of this caliber. I looked fat. Hella fat in my eyes. Whether I am fat to anyone I know or value the opinion of, doesn’t matter. For me, I take full responsibility for things that happen in my life. Whether that’s my health, my financial situation or my relationships. I also know that I should hover around a specific range for my optimal weight, all things factored in.
November 26, 2013 is Day 1 of my rehabilitation. I hope to take it reasonably slow and steady, and to stay conscious about the objective at hand. At the end of the day, weight (as with health, finances, relationships and professional success) is a result of everything that contributed to its creation. The same way that I created this situation, I can reverse it and make the minor adjustments in my mindset toward maintaining consciousness about the whole thing. I know what I need to do to shed the weight itself, but I’m serious about wanting better for myself. More serious than I have been in the past.
I believe people are continually improving, and that ultimately the key thing is to feel like you are making progress. In reality, I don’t think most people expect to be supermodels or millionaires. I think they just want to be better off than they feel they are currently. There are always exceptions, but the vast majority is pretty much the same from my experience.
Excitement is the theme for this new year. As 2013 is winding down, I am starting to consider the sort of woman I want to be in 2014. I turn 23 in August, and I am feeling so emotional about the whole thing. Positive emotions of course, but emotional nonetheless. I’m turning over a new leaf in my life. There’s the new position I started on November 19, the vastly improved dating life, and improved platonic relationships. This change should fit in perfectly.