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The Forgiveness Project Part III . . . Incompetents among us

Forgiveness would not be sincere if it involved the humiliation of the forgiven. For this reason, today’s forgiveness focus persons cannot be named. While they work in very different places, they fit the shared description of incompetent professionals.

These people grate me like there is no tomorrow. They sit so pleased with themselves and proud of their station. One in particular loves to discuss himself in the third person. (As in, just call Mr. Wallaby if ever you have a question.)

My professionals are madly in love with rules as they apply to me and mine. Never mind that things aren’t working. Never mind the point of why we’re here. Refer to a manual. Quote something, and everything will be ok. There is a remarkably common love for taking everything I say under advisement. I would think they knew each other and were consulting, except they don’t and they aren’t even professing professionalism in the same worlds. They respond to questions and concerns with nonsensical rule quoting or the infamous, “Hmmmm……I’ll have get back to you.”

The Forgiveness Project is falling apart you say. I have reduced myself to blathering about people far away out there somewhere. No, my friend, the colour of white hot that describes my disdain for these people is more real than I like to admit. The particulars of note manage their way across my landscape frequently. I am at most a few days without the intrusion of one of them into my world. Ideally, they would all be fired or transferred to Hollywood. Instead, I’m scratching my head trying to figure out how to forgive them.

Grudgingly, I admit that I have also sought to do jobs for which I was inadequate. Taking on the promotion of a failing private school at a time when the entire boarding school market was also failing, with no training or experience in advertising or recruitment is probably one of my more glaring stupidities. Remembering my own incompetence pains me whether or not I drive by the now defunct buildings.

Dear Frustrating Professionals,

I cannot pretend I think you are good at what you do or that I find you easy to work with. But I don’t have to hate you for failing me or mine. Whatever is going on in you, isn’t personal to us. I know the feeling that any second now the game will be up and you’ll be standing naked in the corner with a hundred flashlights pointing at you from the darkness. It makes me a little testy and defensive too. Before you were a person with a job, you were just a person. I will try to remember this and I will pray for you. I forgive you for not being who I wanted you to be. If I end up seeking professional services elsewhere, I’ll try to do so with a little grace. Please forgive me for all the ways in which my interactions with you have been so lacking in grace. For the ways I have run roughshod over the dignity of our shared humanity.



Further to earlier Good vs. Evil post

Apparently my post this morning was clearer than mud but just barely. This is sad commentary if anyone knew how much time I spent trying to say it right, but I digress . . .

The point of the fruit that I didn’t want to throw out was that in the middle of a day, thinking about nothing in particular, and wishing to foist those second class grapes on my son, I realized something. Most days I do not spend a lot of time considering whether or not I should steal a car, or if it would be ok to vandalize the lawns of people who irritate me. On the flip side, I don’t seem to be being asked to sell all I own and move to South America, or to start my own charity by raising chickens for food banks. (Of course, I have seriously considered most of the above but that is a side note.)  Sitting there looking at those grapes, I realized that a lot of my choices are as simple and boring as whether or not I’m willing to take second best . . . in order to let someone who often doesn’t even know the difference have the very best.

If this still is not clear, I accept sympathies and just trust me that the grapes helped me think straight about what I think matters. (Even if they failed to make me talk straight.)