Sunday, June 03, 2007

And then things go up again

There is a Simpson's episode where the school closes (again) and Lisa starts to hyperventilate because she hasn't been graded (validated) for 12 hours. Her mother quickly draws a big A on a piece of paper and gives it to her.

I know how she feels.

So, it's been quite a freelancing week. After the disaster with the monster costumes I put together a newsletter for a company I used to work for and did some pick-up lines for the voice-over job I'd done in March. I was thanked and praised repeatedly for both. Now, here's an interesting point about me--I take criticism less well than I'd like, but I also take praise badly. My urge, even here, is to downplay it. Well, yes, they like the newsletter, but really anybody could have done it--I used a Publisher template for heaven's sake and well, it's definitely better than what they used to have, but it would probably embarrass a real graphic designer, etc. I managed to simply say thank you to each of the congratulators--because that's all people really want you to do. They do not want you to tell them why what you did wasn't praise worthy, because if you do that, they will eventually stop praising you at all. D'uh. As to taking criticism, I am better at taking it than I used to be and it is a difficult art--to not feel it personally. The worst thing to do, even if you think the critic an idiot, is to become defensive and start explaining either why you couldn't do better or how what you did is fine. I've had the displeasure of observing people who report TO me do this and it's unpleasant on the receiving end as well. It usually forces the boss to become defensive as well. Even if you think they are wrong the best is to say, "I'm sorry you're unhappy. What can we do to resolve this." And see if there is some option that lets both of you feel "Right." Tricky.

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