Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Little Whine with my Cheese

So Greg decided he’s going to do NaNoWriMo as well. We’re going to have mini-write-ins together. We’ll sit at the kitchen table, both pounding away on our respective stories, each desperate to get in our 1667 words for the day. It’ll be unbearably cute, I can already tell. Okay, cute and really nerdy.

Today is my 1-year anniversary at work. I’ve been doing this job for a year now, which is a little weird; it feels like a lot longer than that. Not because I’m especially good at what I do, but more because each day seems like at least two. I know I whine about my job a lot, especially to Greg, but the truth is I’m just not doing what I want to be doing, and it drives me up a wall. It drives me even more up the wall when I read other blogs from those who are incredibly satisfied with their jobs, those people who are truly doing what they love. Even Greg, who hates a lot about his work situation, gets excited about the things he’s asked to do, like design billboards and take pictures of baby otters.
It can be pretty frustrating to spend day in and day out doing something that fails to utilize my skills. The only challenge I experience is a challenge of my patience.

So, in honor of my 1-year anniversary, I will give you a list of things that – if I’m ever a supervisor again – I will not do:

1. I vow never to call out my assistant’s name from my office, not respond when she asks what I need, expect her to come running in and then look at her and say, “Oh, never mind.”

2. I vow never to blame my assistant for “double-booking me” in front of a group of people, when I know full well my calendar was clear and I merely didn’t want to attend the meeting she had accepted for me.

3. I promise to delegate like a sonuvabitch, so that my day isn’t crammed with meetings that are unnecessary for me to attend, putting me three weeks behind in completing very necessary paperwork.

4. I swear I will maintain an organized office, inasmuch as I possibly can, so my assistant will not be required to spend hours digging through paperwork to find the invoice I claim she “never gave to me,” so I can sign it.

5. I promise not to ask my employees questions that I am fully aware they have no answer to or have no reason to track, such as “What did Mr. X say when he and I had that private meeting about the top-secret stuff?” or “What time did I tie my left shoelace this morning?”

6. I will never promise others same-day meetings before looking at my schedule and verifying I have time for a meeting, so my assistant will not have to rearrange my entire day to fit in a non-essential 30-minute meeting about the color of the carpets in the new wing of the building.

7. I vow that I will not become a total whiner when I realize how much work I have to do, especially when I willingly accepted a very ambitious promotion to a position I may not have been quite ready for.

8. I promise to recognize the potential in my employees and not let that potential go to waste on pointless tasks. That’s what interns are for.

I know it sounds like I hate my bosses, my job and everything about it, but truly I don’t. I hate my job, that much is true. At the same time, my bosses are about 85% wonderful, the place I work is incredible, and about 19 out of 20 people I work with are absolutely the kindest people you’d ever meet.

I plan on having a short conversation with one of my three bosses today to tell her about my educational opportunity and prepare her for the fact that a second anniversary is only somewhat likely, and that a third anniversary here is akin to unicorns and leprechauns – fun for people to think about, but purely fantasy.

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