Whoops

I’m a grownup now. It’s something I wanted to be when I was a kid, hating the fact that I had to go to bed at a prescribed time, that I had to eat certain foods for dinner and for breakfast and so on. I waited for it for years (even, at one point, cleverly trying to prove that I was eighteen when I was really seventeen and thus legal for a lot more goodies than I really was)… and now I’m finally old enough to be able to stay up until 2:00 in the morning reading books or playing computer games, and old enough to decide that I can have cold pizza for breakfast if I want to, and chocolate cake with ice cream for dinner.

Of course, now I’m also grown up to realize that there are consequences to some of that behavior. So, perhaps, cold pizza isn’t good for breakfast every morning, and maybe chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert every night could have roly-poly consequences.

There are a lot of privileges to being grown up that I’ve waited for for a long time. And there are still some that I’m waiting for, that haven’t quite materialized yet.

Maturity, for example.

I mean, heck, I know that if I lived on a diet of pizza and ice cream, I’m going to get even fatter than I am now. That’s a consequence. I’m mature enough to know about that consequence and make choices that will avoid those consequences. And quite a lot of the time I do make those choices. Not always, of course — sometimes what you really need is chocolate cake and ice cream for dinner. But I can still make the choice in full awareness of those consequences.

No, I’m talking about the kind of maturity that makes you realize that maybe you shouldn’t do or say certain things because you don’t have a big enough picturre, and that you’re probably blurting out something because you’re angry and even if you’re justified in part of what you’re saying you really ought to shut the hell up because there’s a lot that you’re wrong about, and you’re forgetting important facts.

In short, the kind of maturity that, if I had it in sufficient quantity, would have kicked in last Friday and restrained my fingers from typing my last entry. Or would have prevented me from clicking that “Publish” button. Or something.

I made Benthic Creatures out to be much worse than it really is. It wasn’t all a picnic, of course; there were lies told, and there are motivations that I never understood. But it wasn’t all deliberate; I think there was miscommunication, and I think some bad decisions were made, by me and by others. And while I disliked many of the management policies, I was wrong to make it look like all of the managers at Benthic Creatures were bad people. And I exaggerated unforgivabely when I wrote that I would not consider doing business with any of them ever again.

The truth is, there are people at Benthic Creatures that I was sorry to leave, and many of them were among the management. And among those are people whose integrity and professionalism I would never question, and for whom I have the highest respect. Nobody’s perfect, but I would not hesitate to do business with them if I have the opportunity to do so in the future. Some bent over backwards to make my experience with the company more bearable, working hard to rearrange schedules that they didn’t have to rearrange, and spending hours explaining policies to me in ways that made sense, when they could have simply said, “Because that’s the way it is and you have no right to question.”

See, if I had the kind of maturity that I’m talking about, I would have realized that I should have been gracious and expressed my appreciation for those people. I hurt feelings, I know, but I think I did worse by calling into question, publically, the integrity and professionalism of people who really didn’t deserve it — who deserved the opposite, in fact.

So, I don’t have the maturity to stop myself from making a fool of myself and saying things that I shouldn’t have. But I do have the maturity to apologize, and to do so with sincerity.

And so, I’m sorry.

I wonder if there’s any ice cream left for dinner?

3 thoughts on “Whoops”

  1. Naaah. You spoke YOUR mind in YOUR journal. It’s not like you took out a full-page ad in USA Today, or the NY Times and actually named names. You expressed a dissatisfaction with a company that engaged in misleading potential employees. You stopped short of blaming any individual, but did place the responsibility for policy correctly on the shoulders of those who make the policy.

    Flat out, they lied to you. They mislead you with regards to what work you were going to do, how often they’d send you on extended trips to do it, and who you would do it with. Indeed, one of the primary reasons you took the job (and reccomended it to me) was because of the pitch given you at the beginning. A pitch that turned out to be false.

    It’s not immature to feel resentment and indeed a teensey bit of anger when you’ve been wronged. It’s not even immature to express those feelings in a private forum (which this is). It is healthy to forgive the individuals involved and put the Benthic Creatures experience behind you.

    However, the corporate entity that is Benthic Creatures and it’s policies are not in need of forgiveness. As a collective, Benthic Creatures cannot benefit from your forgiveness, and doing so only reinforces it’s power over you.

    I don’t blame the guy who interviewed you (who I think was the guy who interviewed me). I don’t think he was being misleading. He was simply providing the information HE was given, and putting it in the best light possible. Which was his job. I would have done nothing less had I been in his position.

    It was a bad deal, it’s good you got out of it. Sort of like the “Company that seduced you away from UCD” the reality of what you were asked to do ended up sufficiently different from the work you were assured of doing.

  2. Actually, this IS a public journal — if it weren’t, I’d be password-protecting it. And, so, the people who were affected read the entry, and possibly their co-workers, subordinates, and supervisors. If I were complaining privately to, say, Jennifer or to you, then it wouldn’t be an issue; first of all, you would have more context (for example, my frustration and anger), so you would know that my feelings were passing and that in spite of those feelings I still had high regard for many of the people in Benthic Creatures.

    But this is a public forum. It’s searchable via Google. People stumble across it by accident. It may not be akin to taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times, but it is akin to writing an editorial in the Op Ed pages of the Sacramento Bee. If I didn’t want people reading what I’d written, I wouldn’t put it up on this page.

    Publically made mistakes require public apologies. Regardless of how I feel about Benthic Creatures, I did publically call into question the integrity and professionalism of people that I respect, and that requires an accounting.

    It’s not about forgiving anyone. It’s about admitting that I made a mistake, apologizing sincerely for it, and moving on.

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