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“Managing expectations”

Last week at work I received an email with this phrase.  It was the person’s way of telling me I was expecting too much and she wanted to make sure she was “managing expectations”.  In normal speak this means, “you are not going to get what you want, so get a grip and stop bothering me.”  Of course she couldn’t say that because no one in the business world is ever that blunt, if they want to stay in business, so she said, “I just want to make sure I’m managing expectations so as not to waste your time or mine.”

Message received.  I knew what she meant so I backed off, but that idea is still rolling around in my head, managing expectations.  Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure I’ve never managed my expectations.  That may not even be possible for me.

I have expectations and…they’re just there.  I don’t know if I was born with them or raised in them, but I’ve always felt expectations placed on me, real or perceived, and I’ve placed them on others.  How do you get anything done without expectations?  Aren’t they the driving force that gets you up and moving?

If I didn’t have any expectations maybe I’d just hang out, make those microwave brownie pie things I’ve always wanted to try and watch Love Boat on Hulu.  I suppose that would be “no expectations” and the phrase is “managing” them, so the expectations should be there, but they need to be orderly and controlled?

I think there’s some saying, “If you don’t expect anything, you’ll never be disappointed.”  That always seemed ridiculous to me, but maybe there’s something to it.    I’ve always had expectations and I was not consciously aware they needed managing.

If they need to be pulled back in the business world, if in essence you need to lower your level of expectation because it’s just not going to work out if you don’t, maybe managing expectations in your personal life leads to a happier, more content existence?

I have all kinds of expectations.  I’m not sure how to manage them.  Do I make a list and decide which ones need to be tamed or need to go all together?  Is there an app for managing expectations?  I’ll need to look into this because maybe mine are running my life and all I need to do is just call them all together for a brief meeting.

My thoughts from the laundry room.  Don’t expect to sleep in.

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