(NOTE: Based on today’s The Daily Post writing prompt)
I have a penchant for finding the most annoying take on a situation. Ask anyone who’s worked with me, particularly in the last 15 years, and I think they’d agree that my perspective on an issue or question is most likely to make them smack their heads in disbelief. Or smack mine. It’s a toss-up.
That’s not out of a desire to be an intentional spanner in the works. OK, I can’t back that up, sometimes it is. It’s just that I think finding the angle on an issue that may not occur to others is more interesting. Someone in the room has to come into conversations with the mindset of a giggling adolescent who just figured out how to properly use a dirty word, and it might as well be me.
The thing is, this role has tremendous value. It keeps other parties honest, helping them justify and back up their conclusions or recommendations. It helps identify wording in copy that might have been interpreted poorly.
My goal has never been to be a roadblock, completely putting the kibosh on a program or shut someone’s thinking down altogether. Speedbumps, though, are wholly useful. They keep people safe and help avoid terrible accidents. That’s me: A speedbump.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.