2006-01-18

Knowing Me, Knowing You

I asked for a raise at my job last week.

Yesterday, as part of the process, I had to submit a list of my strengths and weaknesses. I was instructed that the list had best not contain anything rote or expected, particularly on the weaknesses side. My Fearless Leader is seriously one of those dudes who's Cool McManager - "I believe in you!" "You're the only one holdin' you back!" He's from Texas but he spent some formative years in California, so he's like this GOP Buddhist. He knows that I'm good at writing and that I'm good at math. He wants to know what scares the shit out of me so that he doesn't give me a raise and with it, more responsibility that I am not going to handle well. That's cool.

I imagine being a boss someday and asking someone for the same kind of list - how cool would it be to tell someone that if they dive deep enough and get in touch with their core failings, and communicate those failings to me well, that I might be able to move them up a tax bracket? I totally wouldn't care what I was told for strengths because I would look at the strengths as kissing my ass.

He specifically wanted to see an interesting list of weaknesses and I get where he is going. I have worked with this VP for almost three years and he has proven to me that he likes me as a person and wants me to develop as an employee. There’s something going on at my desk that he responds well to... most likely my egomaniacism and pretty pretty hair. Not like that! Gross!!!

So the meeting went uncharacteristically well except that it was a meeting wherein I was asking for a raise. I was nervous, natch. And when I get nervous or stressed out, my body fails me in a new and pathetic way. Every few months I can some new physical reaction to stress. A few years ago, when I lived in Illinois, I could count on cystic acne when I got stessed out. Last year, I would get these hives on my left shoulder that felt like a million and a thousand wasps stinging me all at once.
Now I get really sweaty.
With stress reactions, I don't bother caring any more. I could make fun of the sweating and be all fretting about it and stuff but really, I won't be sweaty in a couple of weekes, I'll be Tourette-ing profanity, or I'll have tinnitus in my left ear, or a hacking cough. Trust me, the sweating won't last. Heaven forbade predictible during some angelic name ceremony when I was just a baby.

Admittedly, the cystic acne was the worst reaction but ever since I moved to AZ, things started to switch up for me. Man, when I first moved here, if I was in a stressful situation, I would shake. Like a leaf, you guys! I couldn't write legibly because I'd be shaking so much and I finally figured out that if I crossed my right leg over my left and started focusing on swinging my foot, like a surly teenager waiting for her mom to pick her up from volleyball practice, then I could control the shaking hands to a certain degree.
Enough to write a sentence at least.

Anyways.
These days, I sweat.
So I’m in this meeting with my manager and my Fearless Leader and I’m sweating like a sow, conveniently in the armpit and waistband areas of a dark blue shirt.
Klassy.
But I get through the meeting surprising well and come out on the other side of it being TOTALLY validated and congratulated... Weird. The only thing I have to do is give my Fearless Leader (Hey! I just thought of something - no wonder he likes me! I call him my Fearless Leader! Duh!) a list of positives and negatives, bullet-pointed and butt-honest.

Big frick, right?
I was TOTALLY honest. I made myself uncomfortable with honesty.

So now that’s sitting in my boss’ Crackberry, probably being read and reviewed and “What the effed?” all up and down. I feel a little like this one time when my swim-suit ripped and my ass was hanging out.

I was at a swim meet.

In college.

Hey – he said honest.

And today, in a client meeting?
A salesman described me as tenacious, like a little rat terrier. My boss was in the meeting with me and I SWELLED with pride because if you’ll remember anything I tell you, Rosie is half rat-terrier.
Rosie?
My little doglet?
Beaming at the cosmic colliding of metaphor, dog owner-ship, proof of keen and adult self-awareness, and the FEELING that everything is finally coming up Milhouse for me… I am sitting here hoping that you’re hoping for my raise.
Collectively, we can earn more money for Sarah.
Donations are also accepted and for some of you, I might actually be a tax-write off. Sweet!

What the hell?

Oh.
Tenacious was one of my strengths.

arizonasarah at 3:56 p.m.

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