AI: Me? A control freak? I prefer you think of me my way. Oh, yes. I see your point.

I’m a manager of things in my work.  I have essentially two jobs (event planner and publisher) but when it comes down to it I manage things.  I’m good at it too, which is why I do two diverse types of jobs; to me it’s all managing the moving pieces and making them work my way.

A good manager gets any project done on time, on or under budget, and meets or exceeds the expectations set.  More easily said then done, sure, but is still a fairly accurate measure.

To be a good manager, I think I work by three rules:

  • More information is better than less
  • I’d always rather know than not know
  • I hate to be blindsided

I know those look like all the same rule, but there are subtle differences.  Most problematic situations have one of these in the “not following this advice” column.

Today I was surprised to find that, at least according to people I work closely with (and well with),  I have at least one more rule:

  • I prefer to have most of the control, most of the time

That one sounds a little less spiffy than the first three, and I guess I know this to be true, but it’s still a little hard to admit to such a strict rule. Were my colleagues to describe me in two words, I think “control freak” is more likely than “great manager”.  In my mind they get to the same end result, so people should see my way of thinking and agree … and there I go trying to control things again. Bah!


How would other people describe you?  Does that fit with your own description of yourself?


The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.


A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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  1. That’s an interesting question, and the real answer is “I’m in no position to judge.”

    I went through school thinking I was a nobody loser who nobody noticed or liked, and I found out years later that everyone knew me, a lot of people liked me, and nobody understood why I wasn’t more social.

    I took a public speaking class a couple of years ago. I started out feeling like I was terrible at it, I spent the first half of most class periods hating the anticipation of speaking, and the second half trying to calm the shakes after I had gone up to the podium. I have always felt like I have a face for radio and a voice best suited for silent movies. Mid-way through the semester, I had people in the class ask me how I was so cool and calm at the podium, when I was scared out of my mind the whole time. At the end of the semester, we all had to give a fake “event” speech like an award ceremony or a wedding toast, and one guy wrote his best speech of the year to give me the “Public Speaker of the Year” award.

    I think I’m an awesome cool really smart guy who can post something like this and people will be interested, but I am beginning to suspect that many/most people think I’m at best an annoyance, but more likely an idiot and a creep and wish I would go away and/or drop dead.

    1. That whole imposter syndrome is a son-of-a-gun sometimes. Always interesting that we choose to internalize some feedback, and reject (sometimes repeatedly) other feedback.

      And, like Julia Roberts’ character says in Pretty Woman, it’s always easier to believe the bad stuff.

      1. No, the evidence is actually piling up that I’m a terrible person. Oh, wait, that’s Internet evidence. The same sort that blames Rebecca Watson for WWII and the Edsel. I’m going to have to rethink this.

        While I have you here… can you get a better spell-check/copy editor for your books over at Dark Øverlord Media? The little mistakes in the books don’t ruin the experience for me, but we ARE paying $35 per book. I love you guys, I’m wearing a Wabash Wolfpack shirt as I’m typing this.

        See what I mean? Terrible person!

    1. Ditto.
      In lieu of a wedding reception, a friend rented a beach house for a week so all of his friends and family could share the place and get to know each other.
      After about two days of interjecting my witty zingers and wry observations into each conversations, one of his brothers looked at me and said, “Oh. I get you now: you’re a smartass!”

  2. There’s nothing like marriage to give you an outside perspective on yourself.

    Me: I think things through before acting and my wife often charges forward without thinking and gets into trouble.

    My Wife: I get things done while my husband is dithering over what to do.

    Which is us is right? Truthfully, neither of us are completely wrong.

  3. I think of myself as reserved, with a dry sense of humor. I am cynical, but also cheerful. Where I used to live, I think my friends perceived me that way. Where I am now people would describe my as quiet and perhaps dull.

  4. I know my workmates describe me as hyperactive, borderline ADD’ish, possibly a gorilla and disorganised. Together with a colleague, we have about 15 to 18 deadlines to meet every week, nearly all of them concentrated on tuesday to thursday. My colleague’s well-ordered and organised and our different personalities work very well together. She’s good at making plans (and on seeing the usefulness of plans) and I’m good at improvising when things for some reason or another don’t go according to plan.
    Actually, we have two more colleagues but they’re both off on long-term sick leave but my well colleague and I are managing to do the work of four people and get everything done on time because the planner/improviser combo is that powerful! :-D

  5. Aren’t you supposed to say (with all due credit to Miss Piggy) “A Control Freak? Moi?”

    Me, a person who appreciates accuracy, and totally not a pedantic twit, as some many ill-informed people have claimed.

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