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Tunnel vision 2020-12-13 16:27:28

A buddy told me a story of a time when he visited some friends in Texas. He stayed with his friend who was living with a girlfriend at the time. The two decided to play a prank on my buddy by sneaking into his room, pulling down their pants to show full moons, and making noise to wake him up one morning. My buddy woke up bleary-eyed but soon realized what was in front of him. Fighting through the grogginess of just waking up, he immediately blocked out his friend and filtered out any superfluous visual details to create a laser focus on the girlfriend's nether regions. My buddy referred to this as "tunnel vision to the snatch." This story makes me laugh and always reminds me to focus on what is important.

I had my own tunnel-vision moment when I was a trainer and met with my manager for my annual review. The review came in two parts: 1) performance appraisal and 2) salary discussion. The performance appraisal came first and was separated from the salary discussion ostensibly to minimize the connection between work performance and the raise. As much as the company touted "pay for performance," most people never saw more than a 1-2% increase regardless of their work efforts.

We met in the training room for my salary discussion. I sat down behind a training table, and he sat in front of me on the other side of the table. As he sat down, he placed a white paper face down on the table off to the side closer to him than to me. He began a preamble about how his hands were tied, and he fought to get me the best deal he could, etc. Suddenly, in a dramatic cut-to-the-chase moment, he slid the paper in front of me and flipped it over.

I had tunnel vision to the most important detail on the page, which was the salary increase. Once I saw that I took in the rest of the document only to realize it was not mine! I saw the name of a fellow trainer, and my manager realized the horrible mistake at the same time I did and quickly flipped the page over with much less showmanship. He said, "Ohh sorry about that please tell me you didn't see who it was." I lied and said, 'I didn't have much time to see anything." He grabbed the paper as he stood up to walk to his desk to retrieve the proper document.

I don't remember the exact numbers, but I do remember a sense that I was underpaid compared to my colleague. Perhaps this is why companies don't like when coworkers compare salaries. It didn't affect my working relationship, though, and hard work paid off eventually.

More from Brandon Wilson

What does the company base its compensation on if not performance? Also what have you been tunnel-visioning on in December?
2020-12-13 17:48:28
I can write a whole post on that, which I will do one day. Let's just say there is a limited bucket of money given to departments and rules around how much of an increase someone is allowed to get. For the last few months, my tunnel vision has been the main gig. It takes a lot of work to handle two clients, and 10-11 hour days doesn't leave much time for anything else. Still writing every day and putting out the newsletter weekly.
2020-12-13 19:06:31