Work­ing with a Mon­day morn­ing quar­ter­back can be a chal­lenge

The Modesto Bee (Sunday) - - Classifiedfind - — Marco Buscaglia, Ca­reers

The ex­pert foot­ball fans come out in full force Mon­day morn­ings, ques­tion­ing of­fen­sive play-call­ing by head coaches from coast-to­coast, just like they did dur­ing base­ball season.

“I had to get off of Face­book and Twit­ter,” says Gary Schiff, a Chicago para­le­gal. “I get it. Some of the stuff I saw was up­set­ting to me, too, but I’m a 32-yearold para­le­gal who plays pick-up bas­ket­ball and fantasy foot­ball. That’s it. I’m no ex­pert.”

Schiff says his re­luc­tance to pile on lo­cal teams is at odds with most of his friends and rel­a­tives. “I turned off my phone at two in the morn­ing be­cause I was get­ting stuck in th­ese text night­mares,” he says. “I mean, peo­ple were tex­ting me 500 words at a time about sce­nar­ios. I couldn’t take it.”

Schiff says post-game re­ac­tions are sim­i­lar to a sit­u­a­tion he re­mem­bers from his pre­vi­ous job at a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion in Spring­field, Illi­nois, when a newly hired di­rec­tor de­cided to im­ple­ment sev­eral new poli­cies, in­clud­ing one aimed at in­creas­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity. “He wanted to have daily meet­ings for us to share what we’d be work­ing on for the day and peo­ple went berserk,” Schiff says. “You would have thought he killed some­one. All he wanted was for us to meet for five or 10 min­utes so we could talk about what we were do­ing for the day.”

Schiff says in that in­stance, he also kept quiet. “The big­gest is­sue was that the peo­ple who’d stroll in at 9:30 or 10 had to be at the meet­ing at 9:15,” he says. “And the stuff they’d say — “he doesn’t know any­thing about non­prof­its,” “he has no idea how to mo­ti­vate us,” “he’s in way over his head.” — it was in­sane.”

That sec­ond-guess­ing con­tin­ued un­til it reached the point of “no re­turn,” Schiff says. “He ended up leav­ing af­ter about six months for a job with the state. I think he loved the job but he could tell he was be­ing crit­i­cized by ev­ery­one.”

Jeal­ous much?

Bryan Richards, a ca­reer coach in Ocala, Florida, says he of­ten works with clients who “spend our first 45 min­utes to­gether telling me ev­ery­thing wrong with their boss,” which is a red flag. “Oh, a huge red flag. More like a red flare across the sky,” he says.

The prob­lem, Richards says, is that most peo­ple feel com­fort­able crit­i­ciz­ing co-work­ers and bosses be­cause they re­al­ize they don’t match up in terms of tal­ent and ex­pe­ri­ence. “Show me a guy who rips into his man­ager ev­ery day and I’ll show you a guy who is medi­ocre at best at his job,” Richards says. “The louder the crit­i­cism, the worse the tal­ent.”

Paula Maiden, 45, agrees. “About 15 years ago, I worked at a hos­pi­tal in Den­ver with a group of girls. We were pretty tight. Then one of us was pro­moted to su­per­vi­sor and the claws came out. Jeal­ous, jeal­ous, jeal­ous,” says Maiden, a reg­is­tered nurse in Rochester, Min­ne­sota. “The cat­ti­est ones were the peo­ple I thought were the worst nurses on staff so yes, the big­gest loud­mouths are the worst em­ploy­ees.”

Maiden says the prob­lem was that the su­per­vi­sor had to con­tin­u­ally deal with said and un­said crit­i­cism from other nurses. “They al­ways could do it bet­ter, or at least that’s what they’d say. It was non­stop, crit­i­cize this, crit­i­cize that,” says Maiden. “And the stuff they said about the doc­tors? For­get it.”

Hu­man na­ture

Schiff says his wife of­ten tells him that he’s too judg­men­tal. “She says it’s just hu­man na­ture to sec­ond-guess other peo­ple but I don’t buy it,” he says. “You lis­ten to some of th­ese guys rip into the coach or man­ager, they think they’re ge­niuses. And what did they do? Play lit­tle league ball at Portage Park on the week­ends? Give me a break.”

Maiden says she’s heard the “hu­man na­ture” line be­fore, too, but like Schiff, she’s not buy­ing it. “I don’t care if peo­ple ques­tion some­thing if they’re quiet about it or if they talk di­rectly to that per­son, but we’re talk­ing about mean girls here,” she says. “It was petty and it re­ally tore us apart as a group so you can say it’s hu­man na­ture if you want, but in re­al­ity, it’s bad hu­mans.”

Peo­ple feel com­fort­able crit­i­ciz­ing co-work­ers be­cause they re­al­ize they don’t match up in terms of tal­ent and ex­pe­ri­ence. And typ­i­cally, the louder the crit­i­cism, the worse the tal­ent.

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