Friday, 29 February 2008

People change

I am quite encouraged by the thought that people change, and that things can get better as well as worse.

I've just had a couple of calls, about a technical problem, from a colleague in another building. I used to dread hearing from or seeing them because I found them rude, overbearing and obnoxious and felt that I was being treated as some sort of IT skivvy. (I mean, yes, I am indeed that, but most people have enough manners to make it less obvious in their dealings with me.) They were also good at little pointed remarks about how excellent the IT provision was at their previous workplace, an approach which is pretty much guaranteed to get me all warm and attentive and on the user's side, ready to do battle on their behalf. (Goak here.)

Over the past two years, one or both of us has changed. I don't feel like that any more when they call - we seem to be colleagues discussing ways forward with a problem; I like speaking to them and they are always polite and appreciative of my feeble efforts.

I have never claimed to be a saint and I have no doubt that some of our communications problems were caused or exacerbated by things that I did. At the same time, something quite big has shifted to get our working relationship to this point, and it makes me feel quite optimistic about the possibility of change, of improvement: that not everything inevitably slides downhill, over the edge, and ends up on the Misthaufen.

Onwards and upwards!

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