I know the answer to that, Miss!

Today there was a definite improvement. With some work now on my desk I am beginning to feel I have a purpose.

Sad really. That I need the external reassurance of additional hearings; of meetings with Government and analysis of legislative initiatives; of STUC Conference and the anticipation of ‘Fitness to Practice’ cases. I want to be busy. I have so much enthusiasm, wanting to master the new challenge. More significantly (and I own and accept this deeply ingrained flaw): I also need to be seen to be smart and to be contributing something of value… (ugh)

I know that I’ve always been this sad annoying wee chiel. The smarty-pants clever-clog with her hand permanently in the air. I know the answer to that Miss! I know! Ask me! Ask me!

I was put up the back of the class in English because I annoyed the Hell out of Lucy McGill my English teacher. It was she who taught me that my sheer delight and enthusiasm in learning was a bad thing. I learned not to put my hand up. Because when no one else would answer (and nobody else did) she would sneer, smirk at the class and then say Alright class – Yvonne will have the answer… Yvonne? (with the sarcastic stress on the Yvonne).

She had a poster in her class which read Those of you who think you know everything are annoying to those of us who do. I guess it was meant to be funny. I also guess that she thought that I thought that I knew everything, the poor sad sod.

Funny how I still want to punch her. But she smoked at least 20 and day – she’ll probably be 6 feet under by now.

It’s taken a long time – but I’ve gradually learned to temper the I know the answer! I know the answer! tendency – and now give folk at least a couple of minutes to make their own contribution. I’ve even discovered – sometimes – that some folks have really good smart valuable contributions of their own to make. In fact, sometimes better than anything I was going to offer.

It used to be that I felt vaguely deflated by their ‘brighter-than-me-ness’ – until I realised that, really, it wasn’t a good or pleasant or mature or secure person who felt that.

I’ve quietened my inner hand-up child for long enough now to begin to be able to appreciate and learn from other people – to use their skills to make a bigger and better thing from the whole as opposed to just me on my own…

Yip. I am still a sad annoying wee chiel inside. But I’m fighting her. Honest.