Archive for the 'Work' Category

Unstable leaders

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

“Humans are the only animals who will follow unstable pack leaders.” - Cesar Millan

“There is a kind of heroism for which there are no medals because it is unmentionable. It is that of the subordinate stoically following a leader whom he knows is taking him to disaster.”
- Huntford

What do you owe the person who is paying your salary? Your best work? The quantity of work that you feel they are paying for? The quality of work you feel that they deserve?

My first formal performance review in years was more abstract than concrete. Crying the economy, there was truly no chance of any raise. With money off the table, and no chance of any promotion in a horizontally-organized small business, the review was an exercise in negotiating expectations on both sides.

My review was quite good - overall better than I expected, because management freely admits that they are never satisfied. But the one thing they want me to do is to play to the owner, to manage his view of me. I’m ruminating on that today. If I’m doing the work but the owner doesn’t think so, is there a sound? If I play to him but don’t respect him, what does that mean? We’ve got a standoff here - both of us waiting to the other to prove their worth.

Since I have to leave anyway . . . . my coach says management is “abusive and narcissistic;” my guides say I was there to learn about how people abuse their power - and that I’ve learned the lesson and can get out of there at any time. (For a long time I worked for someone who was truly abusive, a screaming, bipolar genius whom I at least respected and learned from.)

Since I have to leave anyway, do I put the effort in so they’ll be more sorry to see me leave? Where do I put my energy?

The Last Place on Earth (Modern Library Exploration)

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

So the energy of the lies at work prompted me to apply to another job yesterday.

Didn’t do anything special to prepare, there was no time. What I did learn is that the two years weren’t completely wasted, that my resume was solid and I was more confident.

There’s a balancing act here - acting as if I already have a new job but not being attached to this particular one.

Saturn & Pluto

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Have to share this quote from Anne Ortelee about the astrological aspects right now -

And trying to be friendly with Saturn and Pluto is like trying to hang out with a mugger and a killer, hoping they’ll never do it again.

Yeah, sounds like my job.

Energy connections, part 1

Friday, September 25th, 2009

Work was brutal this week. Concern trolls. Vague accusations. Responsibility without authority. Sucked into hoping that someone could learn, be better, only to be betrayed. Maybe the worst week of my working life, but not for anything identifiable, more for a feeling of – this is unacceptable. Is this really a connection I want to have now?

It’s been a bizarre two months. I’ve learned that people that I felt were in my life, didn’t feel the same. Lies and omissions. People who were important to me – well, I wasn’t important to them. It’s – a revelation. Someone actually moved away without saying goodbye. House empty. I’m not so much hurt by all this as dumbfounded. And then feeling naive about my relationships.

I step off the train, I’m walking down your street again,
And past your door, but you don’t live here any more
It’s years since you’ve been here
And now you’ve disappeared somewhere
Like outer space you’ve found some better place

I have a karmic friend, and he often uses this quote to sum up our 30 year long-distance friendship:

If I never saw you again
It wouldn’t make a difference
You didn’t say it wouldn’t matter
You said it wouldn’t make a difference

And did you know I understand the nuance?

Venus Trines at Midnight: Love Poems from Linda Goodman

More on all this later….

Walk on Water

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

So today. Huge project that should have been done 6 months ago absolutely needs to be done today. Trying to stay out of emergency mode, stay centered, not let my brain undermine me -What is wrong with you, why didn’t you do it earlier, maybe you can’t do it, what if you do it wrong, maybe you can get an extension, let’s eat some pasta first…

The anxiety has taken over, I’m shaking and I can’t breathe.

This gives me the opportunity to try some of the tactics I’ve been studying.

Stay in the now - don’t beat yourself up for what you didn’t do, or worry about the outcome. One step at a time.

Visualize victory - ground yourself, close your eyes, and imagine the finish. Completely, not just visually. Tastes, sounds, smells, textures. I’m an auditory learner, imagining people congratulating/applauding me goes further than other symbols. For some people a reward works better.

Do it for yourself - Not because it’s being forced upon you. Not because life sucks and this is another example and another bad day. It’s something that’s blocking your energy - a clogged drain, weeds in your garden - and clearing it is going to feel great.

I am doing this…

I’ll check in tonight with my progress. In the meantime, one of my theme songs suits this day -

David Byrne - Walk on Water [you tube link]

Wake up - the house is shaking
Get up - the dead awaken
Let go - you know that you can
Get up - you sleepy babies
Hello - you naked ladies
Walk on - you know that you can

Look into the Eyeball

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Last fall, I lost a significant amount of weight, almost effortlessly. A tweak here and there in my food intake, more cardio, and voila. Unfortunately, right after that, stress descended in the form of my micromanaging boss. Because she has no other management skills, she went into emergency mode, decided to manage our time, moment by moment. (I blame myself, in an moment of what I thought was extreme exaggeration, I told someone she would never be happy until she reviewed our to-do lists every day, put the list into the order that she wanted, and had us submit our accomplishments at the end of the day. Welcome to the 5th dimension.) I am a manager, but I have absolutely no authority or control over my day. My stress-cortisol skyrocketed, along with my weight, back up to where it was. I refer to it (fondly?) as my Casey-weight, named after her.

On top of that, her guilt caused her to constantly bring food into the office and force it on us. Bagels, pancakes, cookies, cakes. And to make myself feel better, I was running next door for a latte every day, I needed the comfort of cream and the motivation of caffeine.

I’ve spent the last year complaining to my therapist – how do I keep her from derailing me, day after day? That’s a discussion for another day, but let’s narrow it down to my health, my weight, or more accurately, my stress.

A month ago I entered into a health contest with a friend, with a significant reward/penalty (deadline December 1). I tweaked my diet, increased my time at the health club – and nothing. Not this time. I’m perplexed, like someone who’s pressing an elevator button with no response.

Maybe this time I have to take the stairs.

I’m going to test out some things that I’ve been reading, about affirmations, law of attraction, and creative visualization. Here we go.

The Hard Way

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

One colleague called it the point of no return, the energy from last week and these next few days (and in a larger sense until November 1). I personally got three very unwelcome get-moving smacks from the universe, the last and worst today. While I know it will all work out and move me into the next phase (the hard way, sadly), wish I’d just done it on my own.

A simple example is the least-complicated of the three events – I’d been saying for months that I needed to complete a horrifically overdue project before I could look for a new job. And of course yesterday the project blew up and moved into emergency status (tarnishing my worker bee halo somewhat). Uncomfortable, yes, but it will be done in a few months and I’ll be free on my own terms. I’m the one who created the barrier, I’ve created the crisis to clear it.

So, in honor of whatever crossroads we’re facing, I’m linking to Modest Mouse’s Float On video [you tube link].

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

You must always work not just within but below your means If you can handle three elements, handle only two. If you can handle ten, then handle only five. In that way the ones you do handle, you handle with more ease, more mastery, and you create a feeling of strength in reserve.


Surving micromanagement

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Ideas from meditation practice. Detach from the outcome. Watch but don’t try to control. Stay in the present, don’t bring in old resentments or speculate about how much worse it could become. Maintain a sense of humor. Do the work before you. Clear your own energy (and secretly spritz the office with Bach essences). Be responsible to your colleagues but stay detached from their dramas. Forgive management.

Time to leave this job

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

The counselor said I would know the moment that I had enough. I thought it was last August, during a three-hour meeting during which the owners harangued us: “Why are you forcing us to abuse you?” Although I wanted to stalk out, I didn’t want to abandon my post - or rather, abandon my coworkers. And while things didn’t exactly improve, they settled into a less dramatic mode for awhile, it was even engaging at times. There seemed to be more room for ideas and some independence.

The definition of insanity is…. you know the rest. One email did it. All progress is over, back to where we were months ago. Instead of angry and frustrated, I felt resigned. This is not going to change, you cannot change it. And now it’s over.

There were three things in my life that needed to take place before I could consider changing jobs. One of them had dragged on for 7 months, another for 6 weeks, they both resolved on the same day, clearing the way. There is one more project to check off my list (again, something hanging from last fall).