Some people have observed that, over the last couple of years, I've gone from being generally mild-mannered to being much more direct and impatient. This started to manifest shortly after leaving the classroom and has become progressively more noticeable since. Whenever someone brings this topic up, it's generally cushioned with fuzzy language like "You seem more confrontational lately" or "Your sentences are much shorter than before" or "Is this a bad time?" There's no denying that my day-to-day attitude has evolved over the last couple of years, nor is there any reason for it to change back to what it was. There simply isn't time to waste with careful consensus building or opaque, academic-sounding sentences anymore.
At the end of the day, the lack of free time is what is driving the need to be more precise in my speech and less tolerant of laziness or general apathy in others. The calendar for the day job is generally cram-packed with meetings and "crunch-time" work that carry financial consequences if handled improperly. The calendar for the home is just as busy, albeit with different things. My time at the day job is typically sold at a rate of about $36/hr, while my time away from the day job is considered worth $50/hr1. So when someone wishes to dilly-daddle, taking their time to accomplish a task, I see it as a poor use of time that is costing me elsewhere. This isn't to say that everything I do is related to money, as it's most certainly not, but our time is a limited resource. We can shorten it as much as we'd like, but we sure as heck can't acquire more. If demanding that a salesperson respond to a phone message in less than 3 business days or getting frustrated with the DBA at work because they continue to make the same rookie mistakes after six years on the job2 makes me "the bad guy", then so be it. There's work to be done.
This does not mean that I'm intentionally rude or terse with people, nor does it excuse the occasional bursts of frustration that can result in a linguistically complex tongue-lashing. What it does mean, however, is that I will continue to work incredibly hard at everything I do, be it at the day job, with the family, or for personal projects with the hope that others will also do their best most of the time; which I feel is generally the case.
For most of the last 15 years, I've tried to take it easy and not rock the boat too much. This strategy, if you could even call it that, meant that I wasted a great deal of time waiting around. I would much rather not spend my time waiting, particularly when there are people and puppies that want attention.
- This may come across as a little odd, given that I am generally working from home, however I will consider the time I spend with my family to be of greater value than the time I spend in front of a computer solving what are essentially math problems. ↩
- Yeah ... I'll just leave this topic alone for now. Suffice it to say, a person earning more than double my salary should know the basics of how a database works if their job title is literally "database administrator" ↩