anatomy of a resentment

Y’all know I started a new job. Two, actually, so there’s a fair amount of time management going on in my day.

I guess I didn’t tell you, but you would have figured it out: I have a new “boss”. I don’t do well with “bosses”. I mean, I was a C Level exec when I left the corporate world, and I always was an independent, self-starting kind of person anyway; more of a team player and collaborator than a hierarchy lover. I’ve been a consultant and a coach for 8 years since leaving my corporate job, and I have clients, not “”. So you can probably tell that I had lots of work to do on my ego to be okay with having a “boss” – I bet the quotation marks give it away! And my new boss hasn’t been a boss for probably 15 years. So there’s that. A few things have changed in the interim.

I also really like to be useful and helpful. I like getting along with people. I don’t like being grouchy or pissy. I truly don’t. It feels yucky (technical term). And yet, last night I was pissy and grouchy. Here’s the story:

Yesterday, I needed something from my boss in order to get my job done. I asked for it in the morning, because I needed to do something with it before I could leave. He said fine, he’d get it to me. He forgot.

I stayed late waiting for it. I couldn’t remind him, because he was with people and/or on the phone. Plus, he’s a grown up and I don’t wanna nag. When he came in to say goodbye for the day, I asked about it and he told me that he’d forgotten about it. Could he get it to me in a couple of days? Well, no, because it had to go out tomorrow.

A story started brewing in my head, where I got to play the victim and he was NOT the hero.  I finished up and went home, about an hour and a half late.

Later, I got a text that he had come back in and written what I needed…but he’d hand written it and left it on a piece of paper in my office. So I needed to go back into the office to physically get it.

Oh, I added fuel to the flame that was brewing the resentment. I can’t let this continue. I’m being taken for granted. Isn’t that just like a man, thinking that everything works around him and his schedule. If I let this go on, it will only get worse. I’ll have to stay late and blah blah blah

I took this brew along with me for a few hours, nursing the flame. I’m going to have to do something about this or I’ll be mistreated and and and.

Wait. I recognize this feeling. This is a baby resentment. It’s like a goonie – don’t feed it after midnight.

Yeah, I do have to do something about this, but most of it is inside me. First I need to let go of the resentment. It’s not going to do anyone any good. It feels shitty inside me, and if I act on a resentment, it’s only going to make things worse.

So what next? Forgive, before anything else. Stop feeding the goonie. Okay, now that’s done, are there other things can I do to fix this?

Sure there are. Some are on me. I made assumptions. I didn’t explain when and why I needed what I requested. And I jumped straight to assuming bad intent. Come on, Maggie, he came back to try to do the right thing. Yeah but that was just more work for me. But he didn’t have a bad intention, he just didn’t know!

Yeah, this is embarrassing to share, of course, this anatomy of a petty resentment…how I made it all about me. It’s like getting in a car wreck and showing up at the hospital in not-clean underwear. Thanks for that analogy, mom!

But this morning, I realized what to do. Of course I need to talk to him, but I don’t have to be pissy. He forgot, and he didn’t know the impact on me. He tried to fix it. All I have to do is explain and together we’ll figure out the right process and rhythm.

I don’t have to be pissy, and I don’t have to be resentful. I also don’t have to be over-accommodating.

I sure wish I had known this stuff in my twenties. Just sayin.’

In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!


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