What a Baby Can Teach You About Adulting at Work by@cveasey

What a Baby Can Teach You About Adulting at Work

As someone who has always had an interest in computing, programming and technology it might surprise you to discover that I am something of an introvert. During my earlier years I was very loud and obnoxious, especially in large social gatherings, which is all that is required when I was younger (be seen or be dead). As the years kept coming, however, the part of my work life that I’ve always struggled most with has been dealing with the confusing and intelligible whims of people and not the technical issues. The hours I’ve spent in a board room trying to ascertain what my boss actually wants me to do, which would often end in a simple colour change of a banner. Likewise, I’ve bumped heads with colleagues who I seem to irritate despite my best efforts to solve any issues they throw my way. What I’m trying to say, is that despite my best efforts; I’m not much of a people person. Part of the appeal of my trade is that I get to spend a good deal of time in my own company, listening to what I want and working through problems to a rational, logical and satisfying conclusion. You can imagine how an infant could throw a spanner into my blissful equilibrium.
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Clint Veasey

From stacking tents for the airforce to working as a full stack developer.

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As someone who has always had an interest in computing, programming and technology it might surprise you to discover that I am something of an introvert.


During my earlier years I was very loud and obnoxious, especially in large social gatherings, which is all that is required when I was younger (be seen or be dead).


As the years kept coming, however, the part of my work life that I’ve always struggled most with has been dealing with the confusing and intelligible whims of people and not the technical issues.


The hours I’ve spent in a board room trying to ascertain what my boss actually wants me to do, which would often end in a simple colour change of a banner.


Likewise, I’ve bumped heads with colleagues who I seem to irritate despite my best efforts to solve any issues they throw my way.


What I’m trying to say, is that despite my best efforts; I’m not much of a people person.


Part of the appeal of my trade is that I get to spend a good deal of time in my own company, listening to what I want and working through problems to a rational, logical and satisfying conclusion.


You can imagine how an infant could throw a spanner into my blissful equilibrium.


It is a lot more work than I ever thought it could be, but already this small, mewling doppelganger has taught me more about my common man than the best part of a decade floating around offices and virtual conference rooms.

Anger is Not Personal Until it is

How many times has your boss or a colleague been unnecessarily abrupt, rude or dismissive of you?


My first thought was always “what have I done?” followed quickly be “what is their problem!?”.


I’ve not always handled conflict with grace, I have to admit.


When my child is hungry. He yells.


People say babies cry. Mine doesn’t. He screams and yells whilst thrashing his tiny arms around as his face gets redder and redder.


He yells if he’s hungry.

He yells if he’s wet.

He yells if he’s tired.


It was the early hours of the morning and I had tried everything. Looking into his tiny scrunched-up purple face I recognized the faces of many people who had banged their fists against tables in-office meetings, cut me up in traffic or for whatever other reason decided they were going to give me a “piece of their mind”.


The discomfort expressed by anger is entirely their own. Making a lot of noise and kicking off is an immature but entirely understandable response to any issue if you don’t have any other options available to you.


I no longer take passive-aggressive emails, or harsh tones personally. I can attempt to diffuse their anger if I have the means.


I’ve regretfully tried yelling back and reasoning with my infant to no avail (it sounds ridiculous but I imagine a solemn nods from readers who have had their lives blighted blessed with children).


All you can do is your best, but sometimes someone just wants to kick off despite your best efforts. No need, or use, taking it personally.

Soothed, Not Solved


How many times has a co-worker rolled their eyes coming out of a meeting and said words to the effect:


“That entire meeting could have been an email”


It’s true, it could have been, if we were thinking logically and efficiently as the fixers of the grinding gears of capitalism.


When a child kicks off because he’s hungry, he doesn’t want a bottle shoved in his mouth and then put back down.


No, he wants to be talked to, despite not knowing what it is I am talking about. He wants to be rocked to sleep, so he feels reassured.


The number of hours I have spent explaining technical issues, instead of fixing them, to people who do not have the aptitude, patience or even motive to understand is epic.


What they do want to hear is someone who appears confident and calm to reassure them with some positive affirmations sprinkled with the right technical buzzwords.


I will proceed to try and be a more soothing and calming presence. I understand now that my job is not only to just pick up a problem and solve it, but it is to reassure those intimidated by technical subjects.


They want to hear that there is nothing to worry about and it is being taken care of.

Everyone Was a Baby and Some Still Are

Being called a baby is often used as an insult.


“Stop acting like a big baby…”


However, I realize that it is not fair on babies to compare some adults to them. Babies grow at an incredible rate, are very resilient, and are always learning.


All babies are unique and grow and develop at different rates. At what age does this stop being true?


I’ve seen toddlers use the toilet with no issue at all, but I’ve worked with many colleagues who are still finding their legs when it comes to potty training (if the state of the office bogs are anything to go by).


Babies cry and kick off when their needs are not immediately met, as do a lot of grown men and women.


What I am trying to say is that, yes a lot of adults we work with might still be at the emotional development of a toddler.


Maybe if we offered some patience and compassion, the same we would reserve for them as a child, we might all benefit.


If not, try handing a mobile in the office and bribe them with sweets.


In Summary

In conclusion:


  • Don’t take anger personally.
  • Sometimes you have to soothe a person not solve their problem.
  • try to care for, instead of condemning each other for being immature


As always, take my articles with a pinch of salt (unless you suffer from high cholesterol).


Take it easy, and if you can’t take it easy then take it any way you can.


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