Thoughts on Candide and the workplace

I read Candide by Voltaire long ago. I thought it was incredibly funny, and it was hard to believe it was meant to be philosophy. It was so funny! All these crazy things happening to these people. One good thing then all of a sudden all these bad things.

It was for a class, of course. We were trying to figure out what made this philosophical. The teacher said, “Someone suggested that the actual number of bad things that happen to the characters is exactly equal to the number of good things…I haven’t counted, though.”

And that makes me think. Still makes me think. How many good things does it take to be equal to a bad thing? Really…Equivalency is what I’m talking about.

If someone says, “You have a nice smile”
is that an equivalent counter-balance to someone else saying, “Your breath really stinks”?

Those are kind of equivalent, maybe. Depending on who says it and when.

But how many, “you did a good job”s does it take to make up for “We’re very disappointed in you”

It may depend on the person.

Here’s another one. People who do customer service get this all the time. Teachers too. When you have that customer, that person you are assisting, or student go ballistic on you. When they threaten to call your manager, tell you exactly how you are failing them, accuse you of some mishandling of a task….

And you have to stand there, take it, and speak in a calm voice explaining the situation and getting some necessary response/information from them until you are at last released from their tractor beam of displeasure.

you are released. You kept your cool, you handled the crisis.

How long does it take to recover?

It takes me a while. It leaves me shaky and vulnerable.

It makes it harder to help that person. Why go back to the source of pain?

How many good nights sleep does it take to get over the adrenaline rush of someone’s accusation?

What’s the equivalent?

i try to find satisfaction in a job well done. My reward is in recognizing that I did a damn good job.

I’d rather not take the bullets. I’m tired of being the target practice.