Tag Archives: management

1. Quit.

20 Jul

Length: 7 paragraphs. Read Time: 2 minutes

When you’re laying facedown on your stomach in the middle of your apartment floor, sobbing into a throw pillow, I think you’ve had a bad day.

Two hours earlier, I thought being rolled up in a standing fetal position on the co-working bathroom floor was hitting rock bottom but I think the above state is the tar pits where T-Rex’s go to die.

It didn’t make it better when I pushed myself up to wipe all of the liquid coming out of my face and found clothes strewn everywhere–a half-eaten box of Popeye’s chicken, judging me by my couch. Who bought that? How did that get here?

“I want out.” I thought. And descended, very much, into the ugly cry.

It is a 70-hour work week trying to achieve something you’re not actually good at. I work that, just to keep up. I don’t do anything I like. I look fondly on the days where I use to sew things and read books instead of shovel through gmail. Being informed about all the earth’s current events used to be my primary mode of being. I haven’t read the news in 4 months. Who the fuck is Rupert Murdoch?

I wish all that grit meant something, like by attempting to rise to this challenge, I put out more content, proved my worth as the model employee, the endeavoring boss. But it’s not true. Now more than anything, I feel like my entire staff won’t listen to a thing I say. Don’t fucking grumble about writing up the events on the event board, just DO it, and I promise you can continue to do what you were doing before. I walk around feeling like I’m cramping their style and feel like I’m failing at managing all the talent I see within them. When they’re not taking long lunches and forgetting to straighten up the co-working space, they’re pitying me. Poor Unimposter. Never eating. Never drinking. Never stopping. Always working.

And I think this is when people step in to comfort that little girl on the floor, twirling their little red/white/blue flags of the American Dream, whispering: dig deep. push through it. You’ll get better if only try harder. Try harder, little sobbing girl. Try harder.

Bullshit, you banners of pick-yourself-up-by-your-boot-straps.

Let this ring from the controversial heavens: trying harder is a lie. Trying harder at the same destructive things that got you where you are in the first place will kill you.  Don’t let inspirational videos give you the wrong idea. You’ve got to figure out the difference between good pain and bad pain before you lace up those shoes again and run that mile.

This is counterintuitive to most, but I only get better when I quit.  What will allow me to get out of bed in the morning is humbly admitting to myself I cannot do this. I cannot work 70-hours a week, I cannot get everyone to do what I say, I cannot answer 80 emails/day. I cannot answer every question, fix every problem, anticipate the next co-working space disaster (“No wireless?! NOOOOOOOOO!”). I can’t try harder. I won’t. I’m done.

5 Manager Lessons I Learned This Week.

15 May
  1. Do not call a testy visitor a ‘douche bag’ in front of your staff or supervisor.  If you don’t have anything nice to say, mutter it under your breath.
  2. Keep your shoulders down.
    In places of high stress and activity, your staff and your customers are looking for stability, the comfort of a  touch stone. When you’re anxious, your body is tempted to raise its shoulders. Pull them down and two things will happen: your mind will chill out a little and people will come to you for comfort. I did this and the results were startling.
  3. Create an Agenda Bin.
    You’ve started late and time is running away from you. You realize that one topic of the five-item agenda is taking half of the time! Last week, I got impatient and verbally closed the thing down. This week, I realized the topic’s importance and drew a bin on the white board, putting the  topic inside. I checked in with everyone and offered to make it the main discussion of the next meeting. My co-workers felt heard and the meeting moved along.
  4. Take a sick day.
    ((cough)) I’ve been sick for NINE days!  Instead of exhibiting how hardcore I am, my supervisors were irritated I wasn’t taking care of myself. It also didn’t help when I tried to disguise my sickness in nice clothes. Bronchial coughs and mini-skirts are not cute.
  5. Act your values
    I went to a leadership development workshop on Tuesday and learned that the people you work with look for consistency and integrity. Often what you say you value doesn’t come out in the things you do. I’m going to write down what I truly value in a manager and make sure I do actions this week that back those things up.