Perfectionism

Remember my post regarding my tendency to say, “Good Enough” and move on?  Apparently, I lied… at least when it comes to work matters…

This past week reminded me of my perfectionism streak regarding work – my mechanic had asked me awhile back if I could take a look at a computer that had crashed – I laughed and said, “No, not my strong suit” and referred him to who I knew in town that does such things.

Apparently the local computer whiz has been busy with other things, for several people have called me back and said they couldn’t reach Mr. Whiz and couldn’t I please take a look at their crashed computer.

No…sorry….

“What do you do when you have computer problems?” they ask.

“I do a Google search, call the ex for advice before I try anything drastic and then set down to figure out how to fix it.”

“Well, then, can’t you do that for me?”

“No, because if I ruin my own computer through ignorance, I have no one but myself to blame – If I break yours, while charging you money for my tinkering, I’ll feel bad and I suppose you won’t be too happy, either.”

And so, I declined paying work a few times these past few months.

**********

Back to Mr. Mechanic – exasperated when he took another run at having me ‘take a gander’ at a laptop failing to boot, finally declared,

“Look – you said you’d like to have more work.   I’m willing to hire you.   I don’t care, as long as you try, I’ll pay you.”

With that kind of offer and my long-winded disclaimers spouted, I took it on.   And finally got to the pre-boot diagnostics tool half-way into the job and figured out the code and status listed means, “You need a new hard drive.”

I looked up how to take a laptop apart – – doesn’t look too hard, as long as you’re careful with the little plastic tabs when removing the keyboard.

I ordered the part and am now waiting for it to arrive to do my first ever, hard drive replacement on a laptop…

I’m nervous as hell…

**********

This whole scenario reminded me of a time when I had streamlined my section so well, I found myself unemployed.    Silly me, never streamline your section and brag about it when the economy has tanked and the boss would like to have more people in some other section than yours.

Que sera, I’d do it the same again, if I had the chance.  Stretching 2 hours of work to fit an 8 hour day drives me insane and I’d rather be unemployed and eating dry dog food than stay in a position like that.

But as the weeks of unemployment drifted on, I started to get frustrated.   I’d never gone unemployed for this long – never in 20 years had it been so hard to find a job I felt confident in applying for.

The counselor at the local WorkForce center called me one day and asked why I hadn’t applied for a database management job listed for my area.

“Because I’m not qualified.”

“Did you or did you not tell me that you built, maintained and ran all reports from a database for the local Animal Shelter?”

“I did say that and I did do that – but only because no one else had time to help me.  I read the book and figured out how to build a simple little database, but I wouldn’t say that qualifies me for managing a whole slew of databases on a government contract.”

“Of course it does – quit being humble and apply for it.”

I did  – – and got the job.  Which was temporary….

When I got laid off 9 months later, along with all the other temps, I had built 4 inter-connected databases, modified 14 others to play nice and pass along information from one to another and gotten rid of I don’t know how many spreadsheet templates floating in cyberspace.  I had also made it unnecessary to keep some 15 odd temps, including me, on full time.     Thankfully, no one else knew this at the time.

Back to Workforce I went – – this time, she didn’t trust me to look for jobs on my own.  She ran off a list of everything I was qualified to apply for.

I saw only two that I felt comfortable submitting my resume for.

Nope, I never learn…

**********

It’s not that I’m not aware or confident in my own skills set – it’s just that I read the whole “We Want” list and if I do not feel I can truthfully claim advanced skills in each item, I don’t apply.

I’ve been on the co-worker side too many times of those who claimed to know what they were doing, when they really didn’t.

And I’d hate to get fired for lying on an application…

**********

Next week I will dive in and try to do a job I’ve never done before – for a client who knows I don’t know, but thinks I can, anyways…

This is really awesome and no matter how it turns out, I’m sure it will be a game changer for me.

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18 thoughts on “Perfectionism”

    1. I always laugh at the words of Benjamin Franklin, who kept a journal detailing his attempt to work on various virtues each week:
      “Should I have succeeded in my quest of perfecting myself, I could not have claimed the virtue of Humility”

      😀

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        1. Or they are incredibly optimistic! LOL – – Not to worry, not cutting myself down, just still nervous about how this is all going to turn out – – will be glad when that part arrives, so I can get on with it and KNOW! 😀

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  1. I know what you mean. You want to be really sure before you take on a job but sometimes it’s good to just take a risk 🙂 From what I read, you’re better than you think you are 🙂

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  2. I hear ya! I’ve decided that when you learn something organically or under your own steam, it’s hard to rank it as a ‘skill’ which sounds so formal! But the fact that you learned it is a skill in itself! Good luck – tell the inner voices to ‘shhh’ 😉

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