Last night I came home from work too damn late than I should have. I thought the carousel discourse in the closed door meetings would be the high point of the day. I keep forgetting that no plan ever survives contact with the public.
I came home, drew the shoal sigil over my pillow for “Restful Sleep” and for once, looked forward to sleeping without dreams again.
So of course, I dreamt of work all night long.
The morning started as it does for the month, with the shoal sigil announcing the morning routines of coffee and yoga. It could be because of my slow climbing out of the depression pit I was in earlier this week, but I have stopped looking for any signs of the less probably encoded desires happening immediately.
However, “Work Support” keeps confronting me in surprising ways and from directions I absolutely did not expect. A fellow manager who has been in the industry almost as long as I have been an adult (on paper) stopped in my office to chat. He had heard some
bullshit things through the gossip line and wanted to check on me.
“Have you heard from those who matter, that you need to tighten your shit up? No? Then keep doing what you’re doing. Do you keep a paper trail, or a backup email copy of everything you’ve done, said, or received? Yes? Then keep doing what you’re doing. So many people who think they are in charge look only at the cash flow in the bank account and don’t consider that efficiency isn’t always a metric that can be tracked.”
“Your problem is that you are not a problem. You don’t need to be micromanaged. You don’t need to be supervised to make sure you wipe your ass and wash your hands. You are not someone who needs to be shadowed by your supers and because of that, those who do think you’re someone’s pet or some shit.”
“What [our bosses] should be doing is sitting in here telling you this themselves. Because I know you’re surrounded by petty little shits who are trying to drown you with their tears and sometimes we need to be told that we’re doing the right thing and to keep doing it. It’s easy to feel abandoned and ostracized in this industry. If we’re doing our job right, everyone in here will hate us for not kissing their asses, and [Keri], you are very hated for all the right reasons.”
“Do you know how you have helped my department become more efficient? That web link you sent me for the weather service last year. I never knew that was publicly available. Just checking that forecast every morning has helped me plan out my team’s ground work across the entire property and I’ve cut back on unnecessary hours. On paper, my department is looking pretty damn good because of how efficient we have become. But it’s all because you saw something and shared it with me.”
“So now I’m sharing something with you. Just because you work side by side with someone doesn’t make them your peers. Being on the same level in an organization chart doesn’t make them your equals. I know how you got in this office and how people resent you for living the fairy tale. But your story is still being written. Write yourself a happy ending. One that lasts after this book closes.”
The clock announced the hour, and we both stood to attend the weekly manager’s meeting. As we went to the door, we were met by our boss who was suddenly embarrassed. Turns out the weekly manager’s meeting had been canceled and he had forgotten to tell us!
“I heard you two talking in there and didn’t want to interrupt. Everything okay?”
“Getting there, boss.”
“I know we don’t talk often, but it’s [annual report and budget time] and you’re doing just fine on your own. I promise you, once we out of this crazy time, we’ll talk more often. If something happens, you know you can always talk to me. … Or him. … But I’m better at getting things done, you know.”
It’s been over a year since I was promoted, and I’m still not used to the change in status. I’m still scared and worried twice as much as before. I am well aware of all the faces that coworkers can wear when they know someone is about to be let go. I’ve worn them myself . So to hear this, “sideways” or not, was a much needed boost to my self-esteem and a comfort.
I wrestled with how much of that conversation to place in this post. He said a lot more, a hella lot more, but certain secrets need to remain secret.
Was it the magic of the shoal sigil that prompted him to come sit with me awhile? Maybe. The question at the end of the day is if I received the work support I needed.
Yes. I did.
I marked the day as a win and went to bed early to prepare for an early start to Friday.