I find myself in a delicate balance of attitude and practicality at work these days. I've been here long enough that I've seen the exact same problems happen two dozen times, with the exact same fixes, and the people making those mistakes fail quite spectacularly to learn from them. As I have no authority to fire their asses or otherwise even influence their decision making behaviors or reward structure, I have no say in whether or not they keep making the same stupid mistakes over and over again. It is my responsibility, however, to fix the problems that their mistakes create.
So I'm faced with a conundrum. Participating in this pointless exercise on a regular basis makes me frustrated with and resentful of these people. The first two or three times aren't a problem for me. After that, thought, they really should know better. They are making my job harder by lacking some of the basic skills to do their own job. However, I have to work with these people and get along with them. If I let the resentment grow and continue on this path, I know for a fact that it will affect the way I deal with them. I'm pretty bad at hiding resentment/lack of respect, and it'll start showing. I don't want that to happen.
The other side of the conundrum is this: my only way of really dealing with this sort of incompetence without it turning into resentment is to lower my expectations of these people. I find that if I remind myself "they just can't remember these simple things - they're not capable" I can deal with the constant screw-ups a lot more patiently and positively. It works in the short term. In the long term, though, I fear that the condescension inherent in that particular attitude will likewise come out. Also, that notion just doesn't sit well with me. They can
do and remember this stuff. Why they do not is beyond me.
So what do I do? Being in the labor force for more than ten years now, and from talking to pretty much anyone else who has worked for a living, I have concluded that simply not working with incompetent people is not an option. If these people were complete dicks it wouldn't be a problem. But some of them are very nice, good people even, and I don't want to end up treating them badly. Argh.