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Old 05-15-2008, 12:27 AM   #1
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What a difference a day makes?

So I finally found myself a new job. I'm working in a warehouse, a job for which I am eminently qualified, but ultimately one that I wouldn't want to do the rest of my life. The pay is great, there's lots of overtime available, and I'm doing something that's comfortable. Nice short term job. Problem is it feels too irrelevant to consider doing for the rest of my life, even in a management role (what was it I heard Bob say about ADDers not willing to 'settle' for a job they feel is beneath them?).

Anyway . . . my job as an appliance picker is to drive a modified forklift that has clamps for picking appliances, then staging them at the docks for loading. Naturally, there's a certain number of appliances you're supposed to pick every day, and as with any job that counts the amount of work you're doing, I'm very stressed that I won't make the grade, because I've always worked slower than most people; not because I don't try, just because it takes me longer to read/process/react that most.

Which brings me to the title line of my post. What a difference a day makes! Overall, I've been overachieving, thanks to my general warehouse experience and knowledge of the equipment, but as of yet, I'm still well short of the daily goal. Not a problem, they tell me, it takes time . . . funny, it seems that the only one worried about it is me!!

Classic Dennis. I don't know if you could call it classic ADD (maybe you can), but it is classic Dennis. I start obsessing about the numbers, pushing hard, trying to go faster and faster, which leads to frustration, and with the frustration comes confusion. When I get frustrated, I start to have trouble with the controls of my squeeze truck, and as such start to do stupid things. In my rush, and therefore my frustration and confusion I dropped two appliances yesterday. One wasn't damaged, the other was. I ended up so obsessed about the numbers, I started to manifest physical symptoms of stress. Not good, and not the way I wanted to spend my summer.

So today I went there with a new attitude . . . relax, don't stress, don't worry about the numbers. If the numbers aren't there, I can always find work elsewhere in the warehouse, or outside it. I had a much better day. No confusion, I handled my truck like a zen master, enjoyed myself, and did more today than I did yesterday. I'm feeling like a million bucks now, just because I've become so much more self aware thanks to the journey I've been on the last 9 or so months.

It's funny. In the past, I wouldn't have recognized my obsession for being as pointless as it is, and I wouldn't have been able to rise above it; funny how little insights can make a huge difference.


On a side note, sorry about the disappearing act, they've been working me like a dog.

 
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:15 PM   #2
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Re: What a difference a day makes?

Thunor,

Very cool experience. Changed attitude, better performance, especially since the change was to "ah, the heck with it. Just isn't that important."

You really must stop talking about me. My name isn't Dennis. It's Bob. As in "All About Bob." I am Bill Murray's character.

I don't know how you know about me before I tell you. I am perfectionistic to a fault. Just so happens, computer code must be close to perfect or it ain't happening especially the stuff I do. My last "module" (the one I couldn't focus on in the quiz you answered correctly) is the cryptology manager for a big nationwide database project. Come to think of it, it'll be used in Canada shortly too. My job is keep the bad guys out but let the good guys in. If you aren't into programming telling I did it in "C" doesn't mean much. Tell a newer programmer that and he/she thinks either I'm God or stupid mostly the latter. The C language tolerates no mistakes - at least not many. C developed programs are blazingly fast and efficient and also very capable of blowing up big computers because of simple oversights on the programmers part. Most viruses are in C. Pretty good blower upper done sloppily (or maliciously). And extraordinarily efficient done properly. Yeah, there was a little used "B" before "C" back in days only geezers like me know about c. 1971.

Wanna know what? I had to learn "C" does tolerate some mistakes. I had to change my attitude to "good enough" when good enough is good enough. Or get fired for excessive delays seeking perfection.

I think you and I and many other ADHDer's do that perfectionism thing in a vain attempt to control the uncontrollable - our brains. All brain wants is to be left alone. It works. I never thought I'd ever say that C can manage some schmoism. It can. I don't have to be so difficult any longer. Life is better for a lot of people including me.

Bob

PS Exception to "we don't do jobs beneath us." If I need a job and toilet washing is the only game in town, I wash toilets. If I were to wash same toilet because ADHD kept me from doing something more up my alley, I'd hate it. If circumstance make do it, fine. If ADHD makes me do it, not fine.

The world is full of high IQ underachievers. I'm not one of them. I don't have a particularly high IQ and neither am I an underachiever. When I ended up doing jobs because I failed at jobs within my potential, I could not and never will be able to accept it. One of the best compliments I got from a co-worker about an issue I faced was, "I know you won't take it sitting down." He's right. I won't.

Is it a good or bad quality that we both now admit to having? I don't know. "It is." That I know for a fact about both of us. No, it's definitely a good quality. It's called not settling for underachievement when we know we can do better.

Hey, check out my new post that's going to happen now. I did it in Word first because I wasn't thinking "post" when I started. Read. You'll see. I mention YOU by name. That is how cool I think you are.

 
Old 05-15-2008, 11:54 PM   #3
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Re: What a difference a day makes?

Thunor,

I'm so glad for you that you have managed to put aside your anxiety so that you could pay attention to the tasks at hand. Yeah for you!!!

As our beloved programmer Bob says, we ADDers can handle only so much stuff in our working memories before something has to fall off the stack. If we're worried about how we're going to handle something, the worry itself takes up so much space that we can't pay attention to the very tasks that we are worried about handling. We can't do our OCD perfectionist best when we are distracted by worry about failing and worry about not working fast enough and worry about not learning fast enough and worry about losing our jobs and --- what was it that I was supposed to be doing today? I forgot -- I was too busy worrying!

Zen and the art of fork-lifting. Sounds like a wonderful title for a book.

--Rheanna

 
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