Writing About My Wonderfully Flawed Co-Workers

full_sail_university_sign I need to be a bit more careful about the blog. I mean, I’ve been known to vent a bit and cause more than a few hurt feelings from said ventings. Alas, I met another Full Sail department director today who was familiar with the blog. Well, he was familiar because they have an app that looks for references to “Full Sail” on the web. Oops. Nervous smile. Damn. And now, having used the “FS” name this silly little entry is going to show up in the search. Well, I might as well own up to my foolishness and say “Hello” to unnamed FS director. Umm, “Hello.”

So, one other thing that came out of the conversation was that one of my best friends (and boss), Holly, generally reads the blog up to the first paragraph, but stops reading at that point if I don’t mention her. Hmm, so I wonder if she’ll continue to read this, in that I didn’t mention her until the second paragraph. Oh yeah, the point isn’t just to mention her but to say something witty (or if I’m smart, flattering). Awkward pause. Damn. Do you know how weird it can be to have shared years of very personal stories and experiences, hear the unfiltered thoughts of fellow-workers and try to remember to pay attention to who might be in earshot when I open my big fat mouth? The scary part is that I write a publically available blog. So on more than one ocassion Holly has stopped me mid-sentence and asked, “is X at her/his desk?” just as I was about to say something that might not be taken well by the party under question. Doh! Talk about being smart beyond her years. Smile.

She joked that I might become frustrated because knowing that the blog is being read by various parties, administrative and students, I might fine myself stifled. I guess if that were to really become a problem then that would be a sign that I’m not in the right spot and should probably move on. But just as with my previous jobs, I find that the frustrations and screw-ups of my bosses, students and co-workers are perfectly in keeping with what one might expect from passionate flawed human beings. My co-workers are special because they have chosen to pursue a goal that sets them apart from most of their contemporaries. Beyond that, you have some of the most brilliant inquisitive minds that look past the mundane day-to-day burdens of the work-a-day world to see a much larger picture, but then at the same time completely derailed because they take personally some anonymous criticism from one disgruntled student out of dozens. Far from stifled, I love my co-workers all the more because they openly own their flaws and poke fun at each other because we are such weird and wonderful human beings.

I mean, when one of my co-workers has marital frustrations he’ll ask for my opinion and insight on the matter, I, who haven’t had a date in endless days, and another co-worker who has sworn off even the concept of “marriage.” You’d think one would ask for help on such matters from those who have proven to have had some success with the subject. Well, except that finding someone willing to claim “success” in the marriage arena, usually is unwilling to share the “secret” for fear of torpedoing said success or because finding such successes are ranked just beyond finding leprechauns near the ends of rainbows.

blogging Truth be told, I’ve always known that I ride a fine line when I choose to write about the things going on in my life or my observations. I do it because it’s what I do. I do it because, in times of trouble, I need to vent and think out loud. And I believe that writing about it is much better than venting my frustrations on whomever is unlucky enough to be within shout-range. I do it because I love painting the literary picture. I do it because I’ve done it for countless years before there ever was an audience to read my thoughts. My guess is that my relationships in the late 80s and through the 90s would have been horrified at the things I wrote about had they found them published in a public forum, were there such a thing in those days. And I’ve resorted to writing my thoughts and feelings in the last half-dozen years because I usually wasn’t in a position to have that consistent intimate conversation with the one(s) I loved that I needed. So, given that I do have an audience with whom I work with every day, it’ll be interesting to see how this frames my ongoing need to write. And imagining that my current e-Harmony experiment proves to be successful and that I will also continue to have the dear friends I have to share my future frustrations with, what will become of my “sex and the single brain cell” blog? Well, that’s a problem I’d be willing to adjust to.

I don’t know that I’ll ever become a closed off “private” person. After many years of song writing and performing I imagined that I could take all of that public passion and emoting and channel it into my marriage. It was a nice sentiment, but I guess it was way too much to expect from one person and one relationship, especially in view of the fact that I never bothered to communicate those expectations to her. There is something private and proprietary that I hope to have with my special someone, but then just the joy in having that might be something that I feel compelled to write about and share. Ha. That’ll be a challenge because so much of what I’ve ever written about has come from the frustrations and not from the good times. Yeah, that’s a change I’d be willing to adjust to. Either way, fret not faithful readers, I could always fall back and write about my crazy co-workers, like this one time when doctor… oh wait… need to save those stories for a later date. Sorry. jbb

4 Comments

  1. laura

    yeah, and then you have to sit next to me and hear “this one time, when i dated that Saudi prince” or “i had this boyfriend that was, like, THIRTEEN years younger than me…”. sorry, man.

    yes, your voice is loud. however, you don’t have a big mouth. i think that there is a decided line that is drawn between the two. luckily, you don’t cross that line (much).

    i also wouldn’t censor yourself for work or for a girlfriend. you are who you are, and i agree about the passion to which you put yourself out on the intarweb. obviously there are things that might cause the uppity-ups to curl their lips at, so watch the FERPA guidelines! other than that, you’re on the “bleeding edge” of so many apps and tech ideas, slowing down or self-censoring would be doing all of us … colleagues and students included … a major disservice.

    keep on keepin’ on, man.

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  2. joe.bustillos

    Thanks for the support, Laura. I love our group and all of our quirks. The first time I tried to help you with your dot-mac site (and totally messed it up), I have to say was the first time I realized that I was working with people who are on my level working with the technology (or more often, working around the technology). It may seem odd, but it’s an endearing quality to me to have co-workers who have embraced the chaos of technology and the challenge of education. We’re a bunch of lovable crazies who have chosen to work on this noble cause that is education. xo, jbb

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  3. Terry Howard

    Hah! Naw, you’re writings are fine, in my experience general life blogging is not stifled but it’s always wise to take any potential embarrassing or damaging issues about your employer to someone in meat space before ever posting it.

    Just know, however, the search marketing department sees all and knows all. Muhahahaha!

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  4. joe.bustillos

    So, the challenge is to realize that my writing actually is a dialogue on some level. Unlike writing for a magazine or newspaper, these are not meant to be stand-alone diatribes, but on-going conversations. But the one consistent thing is that one is more likely to hear back from a disgruntled reader than a happy one… well, except from my dear friend from Laura and Full Sail’s Marketing department… OMG! jbb

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