Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's not my fault....

This is nothing more than a pure, unadulterated rant. Not about science, not about funding, not even about the fact that I still don't have any comments back on my fellowship and the freakin' resubmission date is only 10 days away!

No, this is a rant about the lack of personal accountability people have in almost every aspect of their lives. That and how the consequences of our actions is what really causes people to grow up and become responsible.

I have noticed, and it seems to me to be a more recent thing, the lack of personal accountability people have. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is ever their fault. It is always something or someone else's fault, but never ever due to their own inadequacies, stupidity, ignorance, or (brace yourself) laziness. And maybe I am noticing this more and more because it is pissing me off more and more, but seriously people, step up, bite the bullet and take it. And by it, I mean the fallout for whatever it is that you somehow managed to screw up, be it equipment in the lab, financial woes, a job, anything. Just for once, swallow the "It wasn't my fault", suck it up, and say "yes, I did it, I am sorry, let's fix it." All I am looking for is a little freakin' humility, a touch of humbleness, a whole lot of sincerity, and a plan of action so this never ever happens again.

Now, I understand that shit happens. I am fully well aware that there are extenuating circumstances beyond someones control, and the "Its not my fault" sometimes is warranted. BUT, in those cases a "Its not my fault..." can be and should be followed up with a "but here let's fix it this way" not a "its not my fault so I completely wash my hands of everything and you can deal with it because...well its not my fault."

At first I thought this was something I saw happening in the lab. You know, younger less experienced members come in and use new equipment which they have no clue how to run. Rather than asking for help, or even better, getting trained and then getting careless, they royally screw up common equipment and then "forget" to tell someone it happened. Honestly, I won't be pissed if you come to me and say "Hey, I am having problems with ten-thousand dollar piece of equipments, I think I seriously FUBR'ED* it, can you help." Now, I will sigh, and maybe huff and puff and possibly lecture a bit on the need for being careful, but I will be a lot less pissed than if I go to use the equipment, dick around with it for an hour, find the problem, hunt you down since you were the last person to use it, and you tell me "I don't know what happened, but it messed up when I was using it." And, to forget said details of what you were doing, thereby compounding the troubleshooting problem pisses me off even more.

But, and here is the thing I realized, that this is not just a problem in the lab, but a problem that is now seemingly permeating every aspect of myl ife. Lost your job, oh no its not your fault. Not your fault that you couldn't get up in the morning for work, not your fault that you couldn't get out of bed after a night of drunken revelry, not your fault that you are a tool. Nope, they had "it out for you". Yep, big giant freakin conspiracy.

So, that brings me up to my second point. A person with no consequences never becomes responsible. Ever. Responsibility is not, in my humble opinion, dependent on age. It is dependent on the consequences for you irresponsibility. The more the severe your consequences are for screwing up, the less likely you are to screw up again. By having people always bail you out, having someone always there to trow you the lifeline, never being allowed to fall flat on your face, you loose some part of yourself, or it is never allowed to develop and you have no real consequences for anything that you do. Then why bother changing, why accept any responsibilities for your actions? And seriously, how bad are the consequences. So, now, say you screw someone over, honestly what is the worst they can do? Unless you are in with the mafia, which unfortunately I have no connections to, the worst someone will really do is ice you out. BFD. No really, if you didn't really care that you were screwing someone over by being irresponsible and lazy, then you sure as hell are not going to care if that person never talks to you again.

So, there it is my friends. A big huge rambling post about nothing, but something that I had to get off of my chest before it exploded. I seriously cannot believe, sometimes, the crap people say and the crap that they pull. Really, people never ever cease to amaze me.

*FUBR- F***** up beyond repair

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