Sunday, October 05, 2008


I snapped this picture of Kitty this morning, right after Scott left for work. She was immediately waiting for him to come home. She didn't know what else to do ... so she sat and stared at the door, not knowing or even thinking of what she could do other than to wait for the door to open again.

Work has been rough lately. I don't know that I can do it. I seriously think I'm the wrong person for this job. I feel like I'm waiting for something, just as Kitty is. I'm waiting for that one thing to happen, that one good, magical thing that shows me I've been doing the right thing. That I've been working toward the right goal, that things are looking up.

I went back to work for this company a year and a half ago, into a completely new role. One I knew absolutely nothing about. They enticed me to come back, saying that this team needed help, needed someone like me, needed change. Needed my personality, my style, my perserverance.

I haven't been able to make that change. And I realize, more than ever, that I don't know how. And that I have a lot of fear.

My boss and my co-managers are very supportive of me, telling me I've been doing a great job, acknowledging what I have done, letting me go in any direction that I want, helping to guide me. I've been a big proponent of "baby steps", of trying to emphasize that "two steps forward and one step back" is still a step forward. But I don't think I believe that anymore. I feel like there have been a lot of steps to the side ... not forward.

In the past year, I've had to replace two of my team members. One who retired, another who moved back to California. Their replacements have been two of the most incredible hires that could have happened.

Now, I'm looking at having to replace another one (shhh - this isn't quite public knowledge yet). This is a team of six people, including myself. My biggest struggle is with two team members who have been there the longest, who are irreplacable in so many ways, but who are also inflexible and, to be honest, bitter old women. But they have so much knowledge, so much history, so very much more experience in this particular field than I do, that I'm afraid to lose them. I don't know enough about this role to be able to confidently replace them.

I guess that's the whole point. I'm afraid. Afraid that whatever I do is going to be a mistake, and could honestly cause some huge financial issues for this company.

So much of my job is transactional, rather than strategic. I'm constantly busy doing "things", trying to help everyone get the job done, trying to just function, getting the huge piles of never-ending paperwork processed, keeping us functioning day to day. I have big picture, transformational things that I want to do, but can never get to. I think I've taken on more than I am capable of doing.

And so I wait ... wait for something good to happen, wait for the right combination of people and opportunities to make it all take place, wait for the "ah-ha" moment where I finally get to slide in and save the world.

And I guess I'm waiting to finally realize that I, unlike Kitty, have opposable thumbs ... that I can open the door myself, and make it happen.

Now if only I was comfortable being as much of a bitch as she is ...


LSL said...

Aw, I'm sorry that you're going through this. I feel like I have an idea of what you're talking about . . . I run into this same thing. Maybe we could brainstorm sometime. It sounds like you're carrying the burden all by yourself - even though people are supportive. It sounds really stressful! I'm here if I can help.

jo said...

Your last comment made me laugh, and as long as you're laughing at least once in awhile, cuz, then I think you're going to make it.

I think you did put your finger on it, though: you're waiting for the right combination of people. That makes all the difference in the world!

Hang in there! I totally beleive in you, and I know that one day, super-hero costume or not, you WILL slide in and save the world!

Much love & many hugs to you, cuz!!

Chris said...

Matterdays needs to listen to Frankie and relax!

As a champion overthinker myself, I speak from experience when I say that no one second-guesses you like you do. If everyone else is telling you you're doing a good job, then you're doing a good job.

Take it one thing at a time -- trust me, I also know the concept of "the biggest obstacle to me doing the job I want to do is the people I work with." Things change, we cope, we adapt, and eventually you get there.

And in the meantime, there's a big bottle of Cheap Ass Wine at home ;)

peter said...

Long Story Longer has a point, you can talk/mail about it without giving away what you're doing.

I do believe you're doing a good job otherwise your bosses would have put a stop to it.

Even irreplacable [inflexable] people can be replaced. [it only takes the beat of a heart, or the lack of it!] I know that sounds hard, but we're all mortal.

Maybe the fresh people have better ideas, while the other ones are still re-inventing the wheel.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Oh buddy sorry you feel so stressed out like this, do what ever it is you need to feel happy again...*hugs*!

cb said...

sounds like you are going to have to become a "change agent" and sell the old biddies on jumping on the change bandwagon.

And of course, you will have to do it in such a way as you pull out their ideas and get them invested in the whole thing.


Scooter said...

Change is never easy only inevitable. It can be painful, create anxieties or excitement. I have to remind myself that managing people is not like being a farmer where you know what crop is going to come up. We work with personalities. So we are never totally in control.

Be the best that you can be. Ask your supervisors for guidance and for help. And accept their help.

And know this, when you're not here, I sit with Kitty facing the door...waiting for you to come home.

Sorted Lives said...

I love that pic. I understand completely what you are feeling. I went into a position a few years ago working with the Poobahs (who I did not know at the time)

The problem was they did not know what to do either since this position and requirements were mandated by the government. It was scary and I was very unsure, but somehow, things worked out.

You will perservere from this!

madhouse 6 said...

i'm so sorry to hear that your struggling.

thinking about you.

CJ said...

Well I'm all thumbs at times and it doesn't seem to help me so I'm just like Kitty. What a sad pic. I hope you find a groove you're happy with.