Friday, 30 August 2013

Does what you do matter?

I've been having a really bad time at work lately.
What an opening gambit.
It's not a sympathy vote, it's just life.
I've predominately become a person who would rather be somewhere else.
With my children.
My biggest problem is that I continue to care about my job.

And a fortnight ago seemed to be the time when everything came to a head.
My customers revolted.
Although of course it seems to replicate what happened a few years ago with colleagues.
A Director at the time summed it up best "On their own puppies are friendly, playful and man's best friend. As a group they hunt in packs."
I've spent the last six years or so feeling like I fight battles on behalf of my customers.

As I talked to one of my mentors, one of my customers, after the event my take was that I don't mind fighting every day with those within my organisation and with those above and outside, but the moment a customer says we're not doing a good enough job. I'm not doing a good enough job. Well, that's the day to pack up shop.

But when everything's left to settle, and you realise a few people can carry everyone, with or without their express permission. 
And because if you carry on working on their behalf and sort out the problems which need to be sorted.
Well, then you're just left with the things which need to be addressed.
And they might not be pretty.
It might be about having to lay all the cards on the table.
Or just throwing them in the air and seeing what settles.
This time next week I'll be back from the Lions Den.
I've asked to meet with them all.
To find a way forward.
It's odd.
My manager has other priorities that day.
And I've asked my team to stand down. I don't think it's fair for them to be in the room when I have no idea what's going to play out. And how fair twelve customers can be when setting the agenda.
The reality is it's like any relationship which matters.
Divorce isn't an option.
Nor temporary separation.
We've got to work together, and no-one wants to be in an unhappy relationship.
And is it really a matter for everyone, or just for some.

And all of this.
All of this is set in the context of not wanting to be a working mum.
Of knowing I'm not supporting my team as much as I should, because we're too busy trying to do the day job.
Too busy trying to figure out how moving from one core project to three in the space of a year is actually going to work in practice.
And of course, there's organisational stuff, resource reductions, policy changes, which leaves uncertainty for everyone.

And I'm realising every day.
Every day I see these three amazing children.
Learning so much.
Their new words.
Their new adventures.
Their developing imagination.
How much their lives have changed, in a month, in a year.
So what of their lifetime?
As parents, we have such a role to play.
The love, the support, the experiences.
But also how they address problems.
"We can't go over it. We can't go under it. We'll have to go through it."
And if all else fails.

And so what of work?
Yes, give a damn.
But do it on work time and leave it at work.
Let's call it my September resolution!


  1. Hear,hear! ;-) Love the bear hunt too! xx

  2. Your September resolution sounds a good one, I hope the meting goes well. Mich x


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