Skewed Perceptions

The other night I was talking to DH2U about some changes in my professional life (more on this coming up soon!), when I started off saying, “I know I’m not that good at attention to detail…”

He stopped me, “Yes, you are. Why do you think you work 14 hours a day? You have great attention to detail.”

“Not when there are hundreds of things to check. I always miss something – something I know I should be looking for.”

“When your workflow is out of a fire hose, yes, you will miss something. The fact that you get upset about it proves my point.”

Fire Hose

That really made me stop and think. I always have been so stressed when faced with the need for precision when dealing with huge quantities of data. With so many things that could go astray, I became fearful of deadlines.

When I worked at SANYO, every other week I was processing payroll. Talk about something so important to get right! I triple checked all my numbers, yet still my chest tightened as I got ready to hit the send button. The next day when the checks came in I diligently verified everything was right. Only then could I breathe a sigh of relief.

Hmmmmm …. maybe that further proves DH2U’s point.

What I was going to convey in the second half of my initial sentence to him was that I have finally found a situation in which I love the attention to detail – When I have a thorough list of what needs to be done. All I have to do is read item #1, confirm that information (or document an exception), ensure the supporting documentation is properly labeled, and then move on to #2. Admittedly that one step might take an hour, but it is all spelled out. This is Tammy heaven!

Um, yeah. He was definitely right. How strange that I’ve perceived myself so differently from reality for so long.

Where have your perceptions of yourself varied from how others see you? or What kind of tasks stress you out?

2 thoughts on “Skewed Perceptions”

  1. I know the stresses of payroll. It’s definitely something you want to make sure you get right. Otherwise, you’ll have some people really really mad at you. I’m one of those kinds of people who pays close attention to detail. When I work with data, I like to really dive into it to make sure it’s right. Sometimes I’ve had to let it go and just get things done, which sometimes bothers me, but I’ve started to get used to it. Sometimes it’s just a matter of letting it all go.


    1. Letting it go is a talent I’ve yet to master. I’m so glad that payroll is not part of my responsibilities any more. I also like to be able to dive in – but only when it doesn’t have huge repercussions.


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