Dear ISTJ's, here's a little story:
ISTJ (not my boss, but more of an "older mentor"): You messed this (minor) thing up, you messed that (minor) thing up, and you didn't do this (minor) right.
INTP: Hmmm. I knew that item A was not complete, because I was pulled in another direction by the higher ups. I was specifically told to set it aside and let it go until another day. Basically, there were bigger fish to fry than that minor thing. Regarding item B and item C, I genuinely overlooked them with everything going on. I'll knock those items off my list this morning. They aren't huge deals, you know?! They're pretty minor in nature and don't really affect the overall operation of things, but I understand your concern and I'll make sure not to overlook them anymore. Thanks for bringing them to my attention.
More or less a repeat of day 1.
ISTJ: Hey, you only had 1 item wrong today. You're making progress, but you need to work on eliminating those mistakes.
INTP (a little frustrated that this is becoming a daily routine for him, as I've already acknowledged the problem and vowed to improve): Well, since I'm new at this, it stands to reason that my mistakes will go down with time. That's pretty much common sense, right? And I'm not a dummy, so I'm sure you'll see, in time, that I'm pretty competent once I get the hang of something. Believe me, I won't settle for anything less than competence. Be patient with me, I'll get there! I have no doubts that I'll get there.
INTP: I'm starting to get the hang of this. Day by day, I'm getting better and more comfortable.
ISTJ: Well, just in this short period of time, you have made the following mistakes (begins to name all of the instances that have already been discussed on Days 1 through 4).
INTP: (proceeds to rip ISTJ a new one)
ISTJ: (overheard him saying to a 3rd party: "He can get really testy.")
What kind of response did he expect from me? I mean, really, how many times are we going to go over the same (fairly menial things)? In a place where productivity and time management are heralded, he is wasting both of our time each day going over the same (fairly menial) stuff. After I clearly explain to him that I'm aware of it and I'm basically "working out the kinks" (does such a thing even compute for the average ISTJ?) and that I am, without doubt, getting better with time (which is about as "common sense" as it gets - that would be the case with any human being), he continues to point out negatives and small ones at that. One of these things was the fact that I lost a pen (the cheap ones that come 20 in a box). I told him that I was going to buy him a couple of boxes of those exact pens so that he'd have enough to last the rest of his career and never bother me about it again (including future lost pens, in case it does happen).
It's like if you worked an honest 8 hours next to someone and were very productive, and at the end of each day all they did was focus on the 15 minutes that weren't "perfect". They completely ignore the other 7 hours and 45 minutes that ran smoothly and efficiently.
Seriously, what kind of reaction could he possibly have expected from me? I want to be this guy's friend (we could be dynamic as partners, there's no doubt about it), but he's got to get off my back about the pens that cost 3 cents and the fact that he had to fill out 2 pieces of paper instead of 1 (that one time 4 days ago). I mean, I've got bigger stuff to worry about than these ticky-tack fouls that he keeps calling on me.
How do I smooth this over and turn this into a smooth, cooperative working relationship where real stuff gets done and we don't focus on pens? I'll pay for the pens out of my pocket. I really don't care about them. Let's work together on what matters and watch the results - they could be really good!