Monday, December 20, 2010

Curmudgeon or just a Crumb?

There is a creeping curmudgeoness influencing my behavior.  I am simply tired of hearing what others think I should or should not be doing.  Even if they are the boss of me, they are not THE BOSS of me.

It may come under the guise of coaching.  I am tired of being coached.  It may criticism of something I wrote or a speech I gave.  I do not want to hear it. If you want to be helpful, just give me ten thousand dollars.  My time is valuable, you should pay me to hear whatever is on your mind that you somehow believe might help me grow.  Ten grand would buy a week of my time.  While you think you are helping me out, I will simply pretend that I am your therapist, tying to discern which of your many childhood abuses brought you to the lofty and current delusion that you might be able to actually provide any guidance to another human being.  Even more delicious would be to try to figure out why you have chosen to vomit your psycho-babble or sports analogies all over my aura.

I am aware I am bald and gray.  Despite my engaging look when you suggest I dye my hair or shave my head, I am really wishing you would just shut up.  You know I am fully aware of my dietary habits and preferences for dress.  As I don’t comment on yours... ever.... oh, and I thought you would golden rule my behavior right back at me.  Silly me.

Many of you call it performance evaluation and management coaching.  I understand the philosophy behind it, I really do.  I appreciate the intent.  I simply can no longer tolerate you, any of you, telling me what to do.  I am my own harshest critic.  I know what to change.  I am painfully aware of my shortcomings.  Your confirmation of such is just irritating.

Actually, rather than tell me what to do, I would really appreciate being coached on how to change these annoying traits I have had most of my life.  I really wish you could do that.  How do I motivate myself?  How do I stop trading off what I want long term for what I want right now?  How do I develop a sense of urgency at this late stage?   And don't you dare suggest a psychiatrist.  The only advantage they have over you is an advanced degree and better vocabulary.

What?  Just do it?  That is your answer as to how to effect change?  Thanks again for nothing.  This is exactly my point, you should not really be telling me what you think I should be doing.  You live in a black and white, up and down, left and right, good and bad world.  I have painted myself into a corner of gray and nuances, trade-offs and trying to be truly open minded.  Our delusions have us on different planets in different universes and more and more it seems on different days.

Hey, don’t get all defensive and sulky.  You are not used to me pushing back like this.  You are not used to me give you what you seem to have no trouble dishing out in my direction.  See how it feels? 

I did not say I did not like you or value our relationship.  Just stop telling me what you think I ought to be doing.  I am tired of it.

What should we do?  Let’s go to breakfast or go have a cup of coffee.  We can talk sports or you can tell me about your children and grandchildren.  I want to hear about them... as long as you don’t brag too much or keep telling me the same stories over and over again..

Yes, there is definitely a rising tide of curmudgeoninity....


  1. Man, your style to write is just great.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, I related to it in so many ways...Chandra