Today I spent an unpleasant afternoon at the centre of a football team defence which was comprehensively taken apart.  We lost heavily, with the main protagonist a graceful young black guy who, as well as being outrageously skillful for the level we were playing at, was also sporting and without an ounce of malice or ego.  Everything this guy touched turned to goals.  He sliced an attempted switch pass across the penalty area in the first half, me again a yard off his gazelle-like stride.  It looped over our goalkeeper’s head and into the goal.

It was a horrendous, ghastly, car crash of a performance to cap a crappy week.

In the clubhouse afterwards, watching the England match by virtue of our dodgy access to an Albanian sports channel, I chatted with a team-mate. 

He works at an airport loading and unloading aircraft.  Apropos of nothing, he regaled a story from this morning.  He has colleagues: superiors who aggravate him by being excessively stressed and picky about aspects of the job he feels aren’t worth getting that stressed about.  Yet he stil enjoys good working relationships with them, tolerates them, is professional. 

This morning, however, waiting to clock off with his immediate colleagues, he felt he was in relative safe company, and so he vented.  He said they were jobsworth wankers, only too late alerted to the fact that the obvious subject of his allegation was sitting just a few feet away.  And had heard.  This probably wouldn’t threaten his position, but it was deeply uncomfortable.

I listened, nodded, growing more aware of the parallels to my own week.  Precisely the same thing had happened, just within the nerdy Twitter domain which he probably wouldn’t empathise with, and which would make me appear a geeky prick.

Jobsworth wankers versus gonad crushingly annoying.  Which was worse?  But people do this.  It’s a natural symptom of having colleagues.  Over a career you’ll have some colleagues which will be harder to work with than others, but you will still work with them.  How well you handle it, and if you can restrain yourself from venting or ensure your annoyances aren’t transparent: that makes a difference in your progression. 

Keep your defence tight, make no concessions, go far?


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