Dumb It Down Smarty Pants

Let me tell you something, the struggle is real up in these corporate streets. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do in order to survive in the concrete jungle.

This morning I had a revelation. Well, I use that word loosely because it was not like I was in some sort of trance or coming off of a holy high from Mount Nebo. Neither did my hair turn white showcasing a full blown roller set with stiff hair spray, nor did my face shine as bright as the sun. Today, I realized that in order to spare myself the grief of continuing on the wheel of hamster insanity, I must do things which are counterproductive to who I am.

All of you smarty pants know EXACTLY what I am talking about. Instead of being the all-seeing, all-knowing deep and profound intellectual that you are, you have to stop being the problem solver and fixer upper.

I was pulled into a meeting (of which I didn’t need to be there in my lofty opinion) to review some criteria for a project. Well, I was a bit annoyed because I signed up for an online webinar at Fidelity so I can learn how to plot my escape by having an exit plan. Unfortunately, I couldn’t multi-task because I got called out for the feedback coming from my desktop the host heard in the background.

So the lead was explaining the details and looking for input. Oh boy! Why did she ask for that? I purposely remained silent because I wanted to hear what the others had to say. Back and forth they went about this, that and the third, and then I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I asked about a detail that would change the flow of information and there it was. The thing they overlooked or didn’t know how to answer, I brought it to light. Now, don’t think I was trying to be a smart *ss, I really wasn’t. It was a detail that needed to be addressed. Little did I know that this molehill was turning into a mountain of unneeded discussion for an extra thirty damn minutes!

So if you are thinking, “uh huh, that’s what you get,” hold it there partner, because I only raised up the issue of the detail. What I didn’t do was give them the solution. They managed to come up with a whole lot more than was necessary about other details which were not really that important. You see, I knew what to do, I just played stupid like I didn’t know what to do.

I consider this a great victory because in times past when I offered information, later on I discovered that they don’t take it. In part because I have an incredibly unappreciated gift for being right, but also, when people know they are clueless, they just want you to agree with them in their clueless-ness. At first, it felt like I lost an ego battle, but I gained so much more. I wasn’t frustrated or shared information that was going to be discarded. I went on to do other things like gather screen shots of my work so I can build my portfolio for the next job.

And Bob’s your uncle!

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