Friday, January 27, 2017

Extraordinarily ordinary

In the extreme world in which I live, examples of these extremes are countless.  One such extreme is in how generous we can be in describing how awesome and great we are in the things we do that, long ago, were just considered average at best.

Long ago when I was an employee, and believe me that was a long time ago, I received a performance evaluation from my supervisor.  Believing my work performance to have been spectacular, I had high expectation of a performance evaluation that would align and validate with my own assessment.  Much to my chagrin, my supervisor ranked my overall job performance as average. 

Average!  That was a fighting word in my mind.

But I kept my composure and asked my supervisor why he didn’t consider the great things I had done and give me a higher evaluation; like above average or outstanding for example.

His reply was that the great work I had done was what he had expected of me and that was average in his mind.  Being wiser than I looked, I accepted his response to my question, and his evaluation of my job performance, while privately giving him a big middle finger in my mind’s eye.

Years looking back, I believe my supervisor was spot on in his evaluation.  The work I had done was average and so is what I do nowadays going about my business and personal life.  This includes my middle-aged man fitness training. 

The overuse of superlative adjectives is rampant every which way we hear and see, both on private conversations, and other communication mediums such as radio, television and social media.  Everything seems to be amazing, awesome and tremendous nowadays.  Even the average stuff we do, just like my 30 years plus long-ago job performance that my poker-faced supervisor dared to evaluate as average.

I’m going to be on guard to not be among those who abuse the meaning of words in behavior best described as manic uttering of superlative adjectives that are meant to be used sparingly.

So, even on my best day doing whatever it happens to be, at best I’m extraordinarily ordinary.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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