Today I am tired. I originally got into management at 18 years old because I knew I could learn to be amazing, and do what I loved by growing those around me into achieving whatever they pictured for themselves. I never once pictured myself as “the boss” of anyone, because I don’t care for that myself. I don’t like working for big egos and micro-managers, so I moved myself up and placed myself in a position where I could train others to grow teams and open stores and blow past me, if they so desired.
It was awesome.
I got so good at it, that 15 years later I was snatched up by the Sara Lee Corporation to run one of their stores, and shortly thereafter they began sending me around the country to open stores and train other management teams to build their own. I truly pictured myself moving up to regional manager until negative incidents with childcare made it necessary for me to shut them down and take any job that would put me at home every night, weekend and holiday for my baby boy who was 5 years old.
No hesitation there, love comes first.
Going from really great money to $6.25 an hour was a shock to the family finances, but that’s how it had to happen. The next 15 years, I edged up little by little and raised my son, which was a damn good deal in my opinion. I even grew to like not being in charge of anyone’s work but my own. I was just the boss of me, and my manager was a wonderful woman who has since become one of my very best friends. Life was good.
Then I was promoted to a management position again. The last six years I’ve been responsible for a small group of men in the warehousing/trucking industry. You would think that would be much easier than an empire of 30-40 women, wouldn’t you? As a woman raised by, sister to, and mother of amazing men whom I respect and adore, you would think it would be almost effortless, wouldn’t you? I even learned management skills at the knee of my mother who ruled in several hospitals across the states.
When I stepped in with an integrative mind-set and offer the respect due, the appreciation of knowledge and skills each one offers, and the open-ness to feedback on an ongoing basis as issues evolve, wouldn’t you think there would be a sense of job satisfaction and ownership?
Nope. There’s always that one, right? The Agitator.
My team is experienced, good hearted and hard working. I have the best assistant in the history of the universe. They produce under shitty conditions of extreme cold and heat. I value their knowledge and abilities. I call them in to warm up or cool off, I ask their opinions in decisions that effect the ease of their work, I bring in lunch from time to time, and I thank them every single evening when they leave. I keep up on their monetary needs, their home lives and their physical well-being as best I can. We pull together as a team and get it done, except for “the cactus”.
I have met some pricks in my day, but you, sir…
As I drove to work this morning entertaining the faint and enjoyable idea of tossing this guy into a wood chipper,(just quietly, in my mind, you understand) I listened to a podcast and heard this idea that everything we did was spiritual, everywhere we stood was holy ground, that our every thought, word and action was an act of creation. Everything from our meals, conversations, to the work we do was a divine creative offering to the world.
No. Give up my satisfying wood chipper scenario? Consider my work place sacred ground? If somebody suggests something biblical, could it not have been to cleanse this place with fire or something epic like that? Sigh…
Yeah, yeah. My people know I shove positive stuff in my head every day, and I’m always using myself as a guinea pig to see if some new piece of knowledge is valid or a crock of shit. So I decided, as I pulled into my parking space, to consider my work place holy ground for the day. I did have to sit in my car for a few minutes to gear up for it.
Today was interesting. I did find myself, with some compassion, wondering just how miserable a life one would have to have to be such an ass. My dad likes to say that it’s better to have a skunk inside your tent pissing out, than outside your tent pissing in. My thought on that was, re-locate the skunk and avoid the pissing. I’m giving this test a few more days.
I stand before you with a wood chipper at the ready, on sacred ground.
I’ll let you know how it goes.