Doing it all the hard way...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Misery loves company

Misery may love company, but apparently it HATES happiness even more.
In my professional life I am working on a project with an airplane manufacturer. For the curious among you, it is NOT a company located in my home state of Washington.

The nature of the program is iterations. We provide a prototype, they test it and see how well it plays with other systems on the aircraft. Based on those activities, my company is asked to make changes and make them fast.

In my role I have the potentially conflicting objectives of providing realistic expectations to my customer, and keeping that customer happy.

The working environment at the customer's facilities is horrible. Yelling, bullying, petty politics are all alive and well there. Their managers get abused from their superiors and they take every opportunity to pass that grief along to suppliers such as my company.

I discovered that because I failed to complain or show any signs of being upset or miserable, they had concluded my company was not working hard. It seems my upbeat attitude and occasional jokes made those miserable souls I interact with even more miserable. Like I said above; misery may love company, but it just HATES happiness even more.

I consider myself fairly adept at relationship building and have been scratching my head as to how to deal with this situation. If I behave as if I'm miserable, it would demoralize my team here. If I stay happy, my customer will resent me even more.
Maybe I can fake it ?


bikelovejones said...

Faking misery is about as easy to do as faking an orgasm... and about as successful. Eventually, though, everyone gets caught.
Maybe it's better to be real, and talk to your supervisor back at the ranch about how to deal with these termianlly-suicidal types.
Perhaps butter up the client with a gift basket of your favorite CD by Leonard Cohen?

Davo said...

I just feel like I'm in a twilight zone episode. What makes sense to me is absurd with these folks. If my company decides to stop paying me, I'll stop coming in. In the meantime, I'll smile and be so darn happy, it will drive them crazy !!

Davo said...

Happiness is the best revenge.
-William Least Heat Moon
(who has written some good books)