18 October 2007

Professionalism in the Workplace or Lack Thereof

I'm not real sure where I picked it up, could have been Grisamore's or just common sense, but I've always been pretty professional at dealing with the public. No matter the mood I'm in, I always deal with researchers (amateur or professional, General or PFC) with the same amount of respect, and personable-ness (I know it's not a real word). However, it seems that there are a growing number of persons in my immediate surroundings who lack the fundamentals of common courtesy and decency when dealing with others--let alone co-workers.

Today, during a meeting, one of the meeting persons decided it was time to give the rest of the meeting participants a lecture and with a seriously condescending tone and attitude. It was quite obvious to everyone in the room but all attempts to cut this offensive person off were met with continuous spewing. This is the same person who later starts on a rant -- I'm not sure she's done yet -- about a researcher. This researcher may have inadvertently misused materials, but instead of simply attending to the matter, this offending person went off on a tirade and never stopped. Everyone in the office was subjected to her verbal vomit. I started to get a headache and I know her voice had to be giving out--but she did not relent.

One of the few "netter-isms" is in relation to dealing with those in public, private, work, or anywhere--deal with them as if they were your grandmother. How would you want her handled? Would you want someone to verbally accost her in public when she asked an honest question? Would you want her to feel dumb as bricks simply for wondering? Of course not, and thus, treat everyone you deal with, with respect. Now, this of course doesn't go for those persons of the idiotic persuasion, who truly are stupid. Stupidity, of course, comes in many colors--like someone being a total ass in the office.

Regrettably, this person is totally oblivious to their failings. After the meeting, I was told, "I just had to say something. I didn't want them thinking that ... (irrelevant)." But alas, I am guilty of not saying in return, "Ya, well, you didn't need to make them feel like little kids and sound so degrading when you spoke." This is due to the fact that others have tried and failed. She simply can not acknowledge the fact that she has a problem.

How do you deal with someone so toxic? How do you deal with someone so toxic in the workplace and just doesn't get it? It's amazing she can't see it. It's sad.


10 October 2007

More on the Thesis...

I'm obsessed at the current moment with the thought of doing a thesis. Actually, I'm obsessed with possible topics--what's acceptable, what isn't? Can I pick my own topic? Do I have to do something that my advisor wants me to do? Most of this could easily (in theory) be answered by said advisor--but the advisor I have isn't exactly the most readily accessible let alone willing to answer my apparently tedious questions with understanding and concern.

Ok, better get back to my thesis issues before going off on a diatribe rant on my advisor. There are many many topics one could chose from. I have a topic in mind even. "The Evolution of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force and Case Study in Employment." Does sound dry when its all written out, doesn't it? Rest assured, it is worth a review--no official history has been written and as far as I can tell no other dissertation has been done on it.

There is another possible topic--it may not be long enough however. The Marines in World War I who did not deploy to France with the AEF. There were Marines stationed in Texas for various reasons from possible war with Mexico to the "Sugar Intervention" to German U-boats in the Gulf of Mexico.

Personally, that one doesn't trip my trigger. I'd like to stick to the post Civil War era through pre-World War I era. However, I'm not really sure what sounds like something that would thrill me. I don't know about you, but I have to be "into" my project to really write well. (Can't you tell with this blog?!)

I've asked a couple coworkers to go to lunch to help me mull this over and to get their opinions. As it stands right now, the thesis is going to happen. It shortens my graduate education by a year and that in turn helps me when time comes for 'fleeting up' the ranks at work---many vacancies to be had for the right people with the right mix of education and experience in the years to come. I don't want to have my knees cut out from under me simply because I haven't finished my MA yet.


09 October 2007

Mentor Program Comments

Here are just a few of the comments from the various Executive Council members who've reviewed and discussed my proposal. I think they speak for themselves.

"I was pleased to see the very positive response to the mentor proposal at last week's Executive Council Meeting..."

"This does seem to be one of those ideas that makes you wonder why no one thought of it before"

I agree that the original proposal for a mentor program is a logical and valuable extension of the Society's mission. It would enable us to enhance our presence and provide an important service and experience for all involved, including the history offices."

I also think that the mentorship program is an excellent one and agree with Henry's modifications to Annette's terrific proposal."

There are lots of details to be worked out and responsibilities to be assigned, but for now, it looks as though its moving forward. I'm so happy that the suggestion was taken seriously and may see the light of day. Now on to my next suggestion. I'm already formulating it.

04 October 2007

To Thesis or Not To Thesis

Well, the time has come to start seriously considering (or not) a thesis. With the program I'm in, I have only one class after this one, then I have to decide if I'm going to do a thesis. The reason being is that I have to do my research seminar and my comps before a thesis. If I don't do a thesis I will still have two more courses before the seminar and comps.

Ok, I have a little time, but I need to make up my mind and quit wasting time on it. There are many pros to doing a thesis. It shortens my time in gradschool by a year, saves me money and might even mean being published. However, with the nature of my job, it could mean a great deal MORE stress.

Honestly, I think the hesitation is my own lack of confidence in my abilities. I don't have a topic and I don't even know if I can write well enough--I do great research but the writing is the hard part.

Guess I'll be pondering this for a while.