I've been the person who feels compelled to rearrange things -- his body, his schedule, his piles of stuff -- if it'd help somebody. Maybe it's a compulsion to be helpful. Maybe it's a little too showy how I sometimes do it, too, like I'm saying "Hey! I'm helping here!," and that's a less attractive way to do it. And I know I've picked bad times not to be accomodating when I probably should have, to really help someone else. Still: it's a tendency. Is it a habit? Do I feel I haven't earned the trust, or even simply the right, to have other people help me with stuff?
I'm not awake enough to psychoanalyze it further; I just know it happens. And that I have to get over it.
Next Wednesday I'll go downtown for my traffic court hearing. I'm nervous about that, and that's all I'll say about it now, but here's something else that was making me a little bit nervous, too: I'd need time off from my current job for the hearing, and I felt weird about starting a temp job and then saying Oh, by the way, I can't work that particular morning. Maybe it's residual crap from my last job, where it felt like such a production getting time off. But that's only part of the reason, because I've had this issue before. Again, the accomodating/not accomodating thing.
But of course, it would be deeply bad just not to show up for either work or the hearing -- and trust me, I never considered doing that -- so yesterday I told my current supervisor and then my Manpower rep about my hearing. (I'll admit I waited until my third day at this office to tell anyone, because by then I'd shown that I'm actually working and being productive. This ain't a "stand around and look pretty" job!) The office supervisor was understanding, and we quickly figured out who'd cover a particular time-sensitive job that I won't be able to do Wednesday. I added "I'll get back here when I can," because I don't know how much time I'll need downtown. I was prepared to say at least a little bit about why I had a traffic court hearing, but she didn't ask, and I appreciate that. But the big issue to me was whether I could work a shorter day in the first place, and because at some level I didn't think I'd be allowed to, knowing I could was a small relief. And they appreciated me keeping them updated, so there'd be no surprise.
I especially got thinking of this while filing, which is definitely a time-to-think job. My current temp job's a filing job, where I roll my chair up to rows of cabinets and stuff papers in the correct folders (during which I've sometimes found papers in the wrong folders or folders in the wrong places, and corrected these; go me!), and those cabinets are in the aisles of a cubicle farm, so people are passing by, but generally people see me and either go another route or are able to walk behind me. So: they've been accomodating. I realized I was feeling compelled, each time someone passed, to move the chair a little more out of the way to make it easier for them, and I had to tell myself: Dude, don't worry about it. By worrying about it, I was not getting work done for a few moments. And it's more important to get this job done than to make it momentarily easier for someone to walk by. They know I'm being helpful, simply by dint of my being there being useful. I don't have to show that more. Unless, of course, I'm really in the way.
This is Post Number Five Jridillion in my Trying To Improve Myself log.