Well, the worst is over. I finished my Staff Appraisal this afternoon. Managed to keep my head cool and rein in that barbed tongue of mine. I've managed to get good overall ratings - thanks to my consistent work performance than my relationship with my manager.
The constant friction between my manager and myself is often due to my need to question her orders (and by implication, her authority.) I am capable of behaving - of pretending to abide by rules and regulations even when they are unfair or they don't make sense - but too often, I choose not to. I choose to speak up, to question - and I end up sabotaging myself. But the person that I am, I can't do anything else. To not speak up when things are unfair - it's cowardice. It's as though each time I choose not to speak up, I am relinquishing a bit of my soul and who I am.
Is there a better way - a middle path - to this problem? Am I just a hot-head who can't learn temperance, or I just need to learn to be more tactful? This is one of those eternal questions, isn't it? When to act, and when to keep still. I just have to try to figure things out by myself.
Oh well. Onwards with books:
I usually read a few books at a time, rotating them around on different days. Sometimes I bring two books to work - one to read on my way to work, another to read back from work. However last week, in my bid to outrun spoilers, I charged through Harry Potter 7. It has been a while since I've been so focus on finishing a book, so much so that straight after finishing Harry Potter, I was at a loss.
I didn't know what to read next, until I picked up my half-read copy of Florence King's Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady. I read it the way I read Harry Potter: with persistence that is uninterrupted by other books. Perhaps that's how I managed to finish reading it. Maybe I should just try to always read one book at a time. I might actually finish more books. But who am I kidding. I'm always going to be distracted by other books.
I've just resumed Elizabeth Hardwick's Sleepless Nights today. The gang over at Slaves of Golconda will be gathering to discuss it this coming August. I'm not a member, but I thought I try to read it, see if I have anything to contribute to the discussion. If not, I can at least follow what they are posting. I'm still practicing participation via lurking. Heh.
It's a thin book, about 128 pages, and I'm only 34 pages into it. It's not a conventional novel, more like a series of journal entries, rumination on different topics, one sometimes spinning off into another. There is something smoke-like in its structure. I find the narrative voice articulate, the prose dreamy and elusive. It is interesting, but I wish I have something more substantial to write about the book. Will see how I like it later.
Oh, one piece of good news for me: my order for Geoff Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage has finally arrived.