Last night I decided that if aliens were studying our planet, they would peg me as a member of the Reader Class. It must sound like all I ever do is read.
But this is not true. I have a real name too. (Which is, Phyllis.) I have a job, which they not only expect me to show up to for a minimum of 40 hours a week, they expect me to perform actual work for them. This involves abiding by rules and regulations and meeting deadlines. Deadlines! Can you believe it? My reward for doing this is that they pay me actual money. This allows me to do other things I like better, like eat.
I have the usual complaints people have about work. My boss is a jerk sometimes. This rule is stupid. But I like my job, which makes up for a lot of the grief.
And my job is…being a manager. Several pithy sayings come to mind here, like “Those who can’t do, teach” and “Jack of all trades, Master of none”. I am always reminded of a card an employee once gave me for Bosses’ Day. It said, How many bosses does it take to change a light bulb? Answer, only one. It takes two employees–one to hold the ladder and another to actually change the bulb, and one boss to tell them how to do it.
That same person also once gave me a card that showed what happens when the boss cleans off her desk. First it shows the boss with a mountain of paper in her inbox. Next picture, boss beaming with an empty inbox, and Administrative Assistant with a mountain of paper in hers. See how easy that was?
So, I am a boss, and by the rules required of bosses, I can sometimes be a jerk, and I make stupid rules. Whatcha gonna do?
It’s harder than it seems to be a boss. And a lot of people are never successful at it, because they want to do “it” personally, whatever “it” is. Because they can do “it” better….This is absolutely one of the worst mistakes a manager can make. Eventually you look around and you have…no employees. And you are doing everything yourself. Everything. And you will fail.
So my “job” is coaching. And my most important function is listening. Which often is easier said than done. People bring different things to the job. They have different and often competing needs, and it’s my job to listen to all of them. Within limits. I thought I would go nuts on Friday talking to the security supervisor about this “concern” he has. Once, my assistant manager brought an employee “concern” to me–which had to do with a conflict between her and another employee. I said, “We are not their parents. These people are adults and will have to work it out. If the conflict begins to disrupt our work, then I will intervene, but other than that…Next issue?”
But other than work, I also have two dogs and a cat, a car and a house with a yard, all of which require varying levels of care and feeding.
Besides reading, I also watch TV, and for the last two weeks I’ve watched a lot of the Olympics.
I’d say I’m active in my community at a relatively low level. I’m on the Board of Directors of two organizations, one of which is environmentally focused and the other is a business organization. I’m a member of an ad hoc committee whose purpose is to review and make recommendations for the Animal Control ordinance for our county. Recently I volunteered to participate in a series of stories our local newspaper will be doing in October about local survivors of breast cancer. Now that is scary. I wish I’d understood that there would be video involved for the online version of the paper 🙂 I don’t know yet how that will work out–I’m waiting for the reporter to call me to begin.
So you see–reading is not all that I do. It’s just that reading is my…balance. There is nothing I like better than sitting at the tiny picnic table in my back yard (which I ordered from British Columbia), and watching the incredible woods beyond my yard and listening to the birds.