Great (Or Not Quite So Great) Expectations

I am writing this column less than 12 hours before the Game of Thrones series will air its finale. Even if you haven’t watched a single episode and aren’t a social-media follower, chances are you’re aware that much of the viewer-population has been, shall we say, less than thrilled with this final season. This coming week, you can expect to hear a lot more about how A) the finale completed the series’ nosedive, or B) it pulled up to some degree and managed a semi-dignified crash landing [Editor’s note/opinion: The latter].

It’s not entirely the show-creators’ fault. They did a better job in earlier seasons, and the viewers’ expectations were thus raised. The better a job you do today, the harder you have to do tomorrow to not disappoint, let alone impress.

That goes for expectations of self, as well as it does for the expectations of others. Folks’ tendency to self-appraise varies quite a bit (and I’ve mentioned in previous columns that mine is sometimes pretty uncomfortably robust), but I think everyone “self-expects” to some degree.

For instance, I know myself to be at the low end of the spectrum when it comes to being mechanically inclined. I will thus be quite pleased with myself if I manage to fix anything that’s broken or dysfunctional, no matter how petty. And if I do a lousy job or fail entirely, I won’t beat myself up about it at all. A professional handyman, on the other hand, hopefully has greater expectations of his skills.

Greater expectations

When it comes to my own profession, of course, I’m more self-exacting. And, over the course of several years of practicing rads, I’ve seen how my self-expectations can migrate.

For instance, I’ve mentioned in older columns how my daily case-volume changed as I went from an onsite-job in an imaging center to a telerad position, covering hundreds of facilities across the country. Then, even within the telerad environment, how those volumes continued to change as I got credentialed at facilities with different case-mixes, or when I moved to a different shift that was populated by a lot more XR. – Diagnostic Imaging

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