I suck at tact. I’ve never been able to accomplish the tact needed to deal with the people that I really want to club on the head. And, there are some people in the world that just have this knack for speaking in such a way that someone wants to club them in the head. And, you usually work with them.

So, here I am having to email, and then verbally follow up, with the one person who will cause me to just want to be a butt hole (and enjoy it).Of course, it’s a work issue, aren’t they always. One of the big things I was criticized (and no it wasn’t constructive) for this year in my yearly review was my lack of tact. So now, I make a “special effort” to be tactful. And, it’s terribly obvious that I’m trying like hell to be tactful. It’s really quite comical, or so I’ve been told.

Seriously, what’s with people who take it personally if you don’t smile and kiss their butt when you talk to them? With me, what you see is what you get. If it comes in my brain, it comes out my mouth. Now, I promise you I’d never say something like “Your code sucks and you can’t do anything right”. Now that’s just above and beyond un-cool. With that said, I do tell it like it is and I don’t pull punches. I use articulate language and words larger than one syllable. And, I’ll be supportive and try to come up with ideas as to how to improve the problem and get results.

On a similar thread, I did not really talk about my yearly review, where it was expressed that I needed to work on my tact and handle software developers with “kid gloves”. Needless to say, it was horrible. It was expressed with the attitude of a disgruntled teenager and was incredibly un-tactful, un-constructive & un-professional. I have considered placing it in a location where y’all could read it, minus the names of the people and the company, etc. What it boils down to, though, is that it’s just too appalling for me to show to anyone but my bestest girl friend. She read it and was appalled herself. Frankly, it was demoralizing and it just wouldn’t end. I had several meetings, several goals to “improve” and email and email and on and on. I do believe that it will go down in my memory as the worst review I’ll ever have.

So… that’s possibly why I’ve been a little cranky lately. I’ve been trying hard to just suck it up and tough it out. Talking about it isn’t going to make it better or even make it go away. I also believe this was done with the intention of stopping me from getting a raise (i.e. adjusting my pay scale), demoralizing me and showing me “who’s in charge”. Taken in that light, I can now move on an not let it bother me so much. Though at the time I was a mess.

Be well my friends, I’m off to work my magic on the software.


© ‘Fizz’ 2009


About Fizz

*I'm a Northern Girl livin' in the South. *I graduated with a BS in Geophysics from Michigan Technological University (MTU). *I have critters: 2 dogs & 1 cat. *I love thunder and rain days. Too much sunshine gets on my nerves. (How I survive in Texas I do not know!) *I'm trying to remove swearing from my vocabulary (Good Luck!). *I'm the last single in my group of friends. The rest of the turn coats got married. *Sadly, the above friends are now procreating. Now the world will have yet more strange and twisted individuals that will have to go to an Engineering School to survive. *Yoopers do exist. Look on a map. *Marvin the Martian and I have a lot in common. We're both cranky when crossed and generally like our own way. *I will never be a model! (Thank god, that starvation stuff has GOT to be painful!!!). *I am not Fat! (Even though that little voice behind my right ear might tell me that every single day). *I am normal. Whatever that means! *Yes, you can be smart and not be a geek. *I've been told I'm not boring. We'll see. *Much to my irritation, I have been described as Eccentric. *I cannot spell! *Being Single is a frame of mind. *Who said life was fair?
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12 Responses to Tact

  1. JoAnn says:

    Tact and Kissin’up – two things I hate! Sorry you have to go thru this. Just bite your tongue and hope for a better tomorrow.


  2. Joe says:

    I’ve had to work on tact quite a bit…being a north western living person pretty much my whole life I’ve not alway been the most tactufl however that changed some in my travels to countries where a slip of the tongue could lead to not only a dangerous but deadly situation. I can’t really offer you advice in your situation however I can pray you find grace so that you can do what you need to without being so frustrated you could scream all the time.


  3. Ann says:

    Tact comes with practice, I find. Especially when it’s more difficult.


  4. Beth says:

    I have a bad habit of speaking before I think, also known as foot in mouth disease so I understand your problem. For over 35 years I worked with the public and I had to be butter wouldn’t melt in your mouth polite. After I retired I developed this bad habit of saying what I thought. Hang in there Fizz, after you get retired you can tell them all to go to h*ll.Hugs, Beth


  5. Teri says:

    Been there – done that – just don’t feel like writing the book!!! Hang in there – it will get better – or NOT!!


  6. Babblelot says:

    I’m sorry your review turned out to be hurtful. Tactful with kid gloves eh? Sounds like they fished hard to screw you out of a raise. Let it roll off your back. Before you speak put your finger to your chin and do the hmm, then whatever you say end the sentence with the word "FACT". My hubby does this. With the word Fact, it just means there’s no argument.


  7. Sherry says:

    Sorry they have no class or people skills and that you had to be talked to that way. Some people just don’t get it. Thier turn is coming, it always does.HugsSherry


  8. Cynical says:

    I used a slightly modified tactic. I was almost always tactful while I ignored my performance reviews (at most, they made 0.5% difference in raise) but I saved my reactions up for use at the precise moment that they would be of most use. It worked quite well several times and I never got fired.Peace, Doc


  9. Happy says:

    Great opening statement. There are some who are clubbable. I am tactful and try to remain assertive and focused to a topic because so many just switch topics and that’s tactless. Understandable you feel a smidge cranky.


  10. kïrstin says:

    i hear you, dear. i had a review like once myself. the boss who gave it to me used the office manager to deliver it. it was, shall we say, scathing. but he was a complete nut anyway. i should have saved it. it was so bad it was funny. not that i was laughing at the time. but in my current position, i am truly laughing.im sorry you had to sit through it. reveiws like that show up the reviewer in the end.ïrstin☼


  11. Leona says:

    I agree with you. I hear you and understand, totally. I too suck at tact. I used t be tactful but, the idiots just don’t get tact. Glad I’m retired so I can pick and choose when and where I want to interact. When I run into "them" I try to get away as soon as I can. I hope you have a pleasant weekend.


  12. Rita says:

    I am sorry to hear about your review and the manner in which it was presented to you.I am usually tactful, the only time I’m not is when I am tired. So I try to becareful then.I want to treat people the way I want to be treated.I have always had good bosses who treated me with respect. But if I had one scream in my face…well, I don’t think I would react well and I would probably get fired.


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