Posted by: fireweaver | May 29, 2008

better than i know myself

it’s funny how the people around you get to understand you, come to know what you want, work around your little quirks & issues.  i’m sure that’s quite true of any relationship, but you tend to only notice it in very deep friendships or romantic relationships.  work somehow exists on a separate plane, as that place where you show up and accomplish a task, get paid, and go home.  anticipating others’ needs, establishing trust, ensuring comfort:  all concepts that i don’t think many of us associate with our jobs.

i was leading a review class today for a handful of people sitting for their LATG (the highest level of animal research tech certification), on a chapter discussing management strategies.  there was a whole section of the chapter devoted to maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid, something which has always fascinated me since i first stumbled across it in elementary school or so.  and yeah, looking back over that triangle of psychological health, clearly, career fills (or should) a hefty percentage, from “belonging” to “self-actualization”.

meanwhile, earlier in the day, i was in a procedure room sewing up a little skin wound (monkeys will be monkeys and all).  i was being hovered over by the caretaker responsible for that room, a very attentive and eager guy, full of questions, someone who really cares deeply for his animals, someone who i generally like just fine.  he does remind you of the little dog that’s all “what are we gonna do now spike?!” (wait for it, about 1:07) with all the questions, but he’s a really decent guy.  today, though, i was just ready to stab him with my tweezers for some reason.  partway through, my tech came back from grabbing some meds/etc, and asked our spectator if he was keeping me entertained.  the caretaker gave us a blank look.  “no,” i said, “we’ve just been answering a lot of questions here.”  “oh, no, you can’t do that,” my tech informed the caretaker.  “doc here needs you to keep her entertained while she’s doing this stuff.  you gotta tell stories or jokes or turn on the radio or something.”  and damned if he wasn’t totally right.  hmmm, does ensuring the mellowness of my surgical suite mean he was fulfilling my need for safety (security of resources), belonging, or esteem?  either way, we have a good relationship.

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