Monday, 23 April 2012

Work, unfortunately

I deliberately don't write about work much here - blogging is generally my escape! But sometimes work just... seeps in.

Really, I'd love to post about sewing or something. But I don't have enough extra mental capacity to do that today. It's been a week where I have learnt a lot, but attached to that is a huge amount of sadness and feelings of powerlessness.

As some of you know, the last few months have been my first as a manager. I LOVE the work that I'm doing, and feel like I'm really achieving something useful. One of the high points was running a quick training session for my colleagues that really brought some results!

This week has been a definite low point though. Sadly, my (only) employee has chosen to leave. I wanted so badly for it to work out, but for a variety of reasons it has not. I feel bad because I couldn't help more, or prevent the events that transpired. I really, really hope this person finds a job where they can fit in and flourish, because that is what everyone deserves.

This post doesn't really have a point. Just that managing people is difficult in ways I didn't anticipate, and that finding a work environment that you are comfortable with is WAY more important than what you are actually doing.

I suppose there is a kind of grief in things going so badly wrong at work, and I need to think about how it is affecting me (and whether it requires professional help). Like most people, I've had ups and downs at work in the 14 years since I took my first job. But this is the first time where I felt like I failed somebody else, and it's sad.

Anyway, I'm eternally grateful to my internet (and real world) friends for distracting me and keeping me sane, even if they don't know it! And I'm comforted by the many other people who have been my peers and colleagues here in NZ - despite them having no idea of what was going on, they inspire me and make me happy just by being the good people that they are.

Have a restful and relaxing evening, my friends.


  1. My only experience as a manager was when I was "given" an engineer to "use" because everyone else had grown exasperated with him and given up. He had a lot of personal issues and that carried through to the workplace on a daily basis. The thing that tormented me was that we couldn't fire him because that would seem like discrimination and would feel morally incorrect, but because of his issues he was not able to complete the required tasks and had frequent clashes with other staff members and made regular, huge gaffes. I wanted him to get help, and he said he was getting it, but it was obviously never enough. In the end he left of his own accord and I felt relief and joy that he was persuing his dream, but sadness that I couldn't do anything more for him than keep him in a holding pattern. I guess what I'm saying is that you can only guide if they are willing to listen, and that people choose their own path and create their own internal story, and I have no doubt you did your best xoxo

    1. Yeah, I get what you are saying - thank you for understanding.

      I'm glad that at least your engineer may have been trying to help himself. It's even harder when people can't accept that they need any help. I'm the kind of person who will probably ask stupid questions and need assistance until the day I die. But I'm okay with that!

  2. Presumably now you have to assist with a recruitment process, which is going to create extra stress for you because you'll have to deal with HR people... BLERGH. Hopefully all the stress is over quickly, and you'll be back to sewing posts soon.

    And you didn't fail your minion. Said minion clearly didn't want help, or she would have taken it when it was offered.

    Chin up, love.

    1. Well, we are really fortunate to have a great nation-wide team to draw upon. So in the meantime, I've got some help at hand from a lovely lady on the other side of town.

      Also, while there are HR people to help if needed, we can more or less do our own recruiting. We'll get there.

      People differ wildly on whether they accept help when it is offered. Sadly, this person did not. I genuinely think there were options there, but I guess that's just my opinion.

      Sewing will happen again soon! Maybe Wednesday. Post-parade, that's what ANZAC Day is for, right??

  3. It's as you said: sometimes the environment is more important than the job itself, and I feel that's something people perceive for themselves. So you can't be to blame for that. Last year, for example, I worked with very lovely people, but the workplace itself was just not for me. Even though I liked at least fifty percent of my job, eventually I felt that it wasn't worth trying to fix what was wrong, because it wasn't the right environemtn for me.

    Hopefully, this ends up being a postive thing and, after all of the hassle with HR and finding someone new, you'll end up with the perfect person for the job. It happens! :)

    1. I'm positive we'll find someone who works, too :-)

      I guess this is just one of life's lessons for me...

  4. Hi Kat,

    Firstly, to answer your question on my post, Yes I also got 'shorter older sister genetics' I'm the eldest and EVERYONE is taller then I am! I look up at my brother who is 10 years younger then I am! Luckily, I'm the only one out of the girls that can actually walk in high heels!

    I hope you're feeling a bit better about the events that transpired at work? It's not easy being a manager but people also need to take responsibility for their actions, lives and choices. You can only do so much.

    Much love,

    1. Hahaha both me and my mum got the 'short older sister genetics'. And my boyfriend is 185cm tall, but both of his 'little' brothers are considerably taller than him! Oh well, I'm glad you can walk in heels ;-)

      I agree that people have to take responsibility for themselves. It's just kind of sad that not everyone realises that. Thanks for your words of support, it means a lot.

  5. Managing people is not easy and we learn to get better as we go. Sometimes we do great at managing sometimes we feel we could've done better. Don't beat yourself up - we can't control all the circumstances every time. You'll soon find someone who works perfectly with you. I would focus on that.
    Hope you're feeling better now.
    Love and hugs.

    1. Thanks Suzy - some advice and friendship is exactly what I need :-)


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