But with S on the bench in front of me (Why she chose that spot specifically, I don't know. Maybe it wasn't a choice at all.), and another newbie on the bench with her, I'm guessing she felt... threatened? annoyed? And she asked M at the front of the boat if his wife was still going to be on the dock when we were done because "she's such an awesome teacher, and I'd like her to talk with newbie M here to give him some tips."
Interesting, I thought. She obviously hears me giving my bench mate tips, she knows that I've coached a whole team for two years (and got them into Division One, thankyouveymuch), she knows that I'm on her team for the season and therefore available. But she is choosing to make a public statement about preferring her friend (who has never been on this team, has never paddled with the newbie, and probably never will) as a coach. Interesting.
I've never quite warmed to S. She's loud and brash, qualities I can appreciate in others. But there is something about her that, to me, points to the source of her brashness being Insecurity. Insecurity that she either denies to herself or believes to not be there since it is well hidden behind that brashness. "See, I'm completely confident in myself! How else would I feel comfortable being so loud and bawdy in public! I must be confident in myself!" In my world, confidence is more often seen than noted as being there. If you are confident, you don't need to point it out.
So what is going on with her blunt request to have M's wife give tips to newbies? (Also, I'm not sure she realizes what that says about her faith in her own personal coaching abilities.)
Of course I took it personally. Having just left a team for personal politics I was hoping to avoid more bullshit. I'm not dedicated to this team - I suspect it will be a one-year run for me with them - and I have felt quite alone on the boat so far. But it's apparently natural for me to want to help people improve when I can. It's difficult for me to sit by and watch people paddle poorly, and to see that the coaches of this team aren't quite bringing those folks along.
"As well as I could" is the end to that sentence above, really, that I couldn't quite bring myself to include. I know I can do a better job training new paddlers. I've done it for years. And I've seen the results. So is it my ego that is needing some stroking? I'm still hurting from the way I chose to leave my previous team. I still feel under appreciated by the captains from that team. So does my ego need to be fed? Or am I better at training than S?
I know the answer to that: I'm better. (Although I also know that my ego is feeling a bit under appreciated lately too.)
Driving home I thought about all this. It occurred to me that I'm in a similar position at my job. I know I'd be better than D at his position. But that doesn't mean shit at the moment. Better or not, I'm stymied, kept in the position where my skills aren't being used to their fullest extent. Feels the same on the boat. And I have S who is apparently actively working to make sure I don't make any contributions to the team. But why? Why would she block me and my actions if the end result would be an improved Dragon Boat team? I don't want to take over her team (fuck no). I'll be gone next year. So why not use me while you've got me?
Because she's loud and brash.