When Things Go Out Of (Our) Control

We’re irritated when a fellow software tester doesn’t come in at work without prior notice because, suddenly, our work for the day becomes much heavier. We’re annoyed when a programmer makes a mistake in a code commit that pushes back the testing schedule. We’re infuriated with product owners when the changes in business rules happen too often. We’re piqued with people who do not appreciate the importance of our work.

If we give it some thought, we’ll realize that many of the things that enrage us are often rooted to situations that are out of our control. We can’t control when a fellow software tester will not go to work. We can’t control when a programmer makes a mistake. We can’t control when business rules change because they will always continue to do so. We can’t help it if other people do not appreciate the work that we do: their priorities and preferences are just different from ours. Our feelings of anger get the best of us sometimes, triggered immediately when, with bad timing, surprising problems arise.

It’s only natural to be surprised, to feel stressed and stretched when things do not go the way we expect them to go. But, please, do not let things worsen with pointless bickering and finger pointing. How we respond to the things that surprise us should be within our control. We can do better: let out a cry, accept what happened, investigate, create a solution.

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