I wanted to ask that today after our first obligatory weekly office meeting since Vulgar Wizard left the hallowed halls of VeryBig Home Health.
I'm not really sure how to begin this. Usually I just leap in and cut and paste until the gestalt is firming nicely and then I just slip the lot into the freezer that is the internet tubes until it sets, but I don't know, it doesn't seem right for this one.
I've been blogging for a couple of years now. I've not spilled my guts about every hangnail and successful masturbation technique here, nor have I put up a rood screen betwixt you and my carefully worshipful operations. I've always tried to do here as I do in real life with anyone that's not family or immediately close to me. That is to say, I give a little, and hold some back. Silly me, I always thought I was pretty see-through in real life, and even here to some extent. My motives are simple, my emotions appear on my face in 48 point Times New Roman bold. Or so I always thought.
I've been going through some changes here in the past months. You recall I saw a therapist for a while there, which helped. I still visit her once in a while (monthly, if not longer in between visits) and she makes small adjustments to the new course we set for myself. I'm trying to communicate more, even if it means I have to face some conflict consequences. I'm starting to say "Yes, I'm mad" if I am, and I'm starting to speak up for myself more. I can even see the outward changes that MY changes are causing, like ripples from the small stones thrown in the water. It's scary, and it's good. I'm growing, plain and simple. It took me a while to do so, but there you are.
So in today's meeting the subject of balance of tasks came up. Who does what in the office, at what time and with what frequency and so forth. The new director asked us both (myself and Sweaty Fat Rolls, my co-worker and supposed equal in the office) to give her an idea, so we did. Now, my boss (let's call her The Bomb, since it's a pun on Business Office Manager (BOM)) and she had already talked about this topic, so it wasn't new to either of them. Thankfully.
Now. Before I go much further, I have to say this: I've felt since SFR arrived in our office that I've done the lion's share of work. I know more, I've been there longer, I'm the person that everyone comes to when they have a problem. I've outlasted four others in that same position. I've seen the company's SOP change a dozen times, and I've watched the corporation grow from 130 agencies to almost 500. I also have a very powerful ownership mentality, so when something needs fixing, I fix it. This leaves me with ZERO free time and I usually stay behind on my tasks because I'm doing so damned many of them, even with putting in the better part of an hour of OT every single day.
SFR is the diametric opposite. She is the only person in that office who can do all her assigned tasks and still have time to take an hour lunch, drive to town every day (on the clock no less) to get lunch for everyone else AND spend a good chunk of her time telling everyone about everything going on in her life. And ignore the phone but use her cellular so often it makes the CEO of Cingular Wireless' 401(k) perk right up.
As a brief aside (I know, this post is nothing but one huge aside) I realised just recently that a big part of my problem with her was stupid, childish envy, plain and simple. I wanted to draw a wage for doing nothing too, just like her. I wanted to slack off and coast along and still be treated like the guy who busts his ass every day, AND be everyone's buddy. I came to my senses last week about that, and it helped a hundredfold. I'm not that sort of person. I've never BEEN that sort of person. That sort of person offends the teetotal SHITE out of me, so why would I emulate it?
That realisation changed my moods, my outlook and my day-to-day interaction with her enormously. Enough that The Bomb noted it to me in a pat on the back sort of way in the meeting.
So. After the discussion of tasks, the director looked at me and said "Can you take on X task also?" I almost fell out of my chair. I'm thankful that The Bomb looked at her and said something along the lines of "It'd be better if SFR continued to do that" because I really didn't know what to say. I was stunned that the Gal In Charge Of The Place didn't see how hard I was working. I mean, it's a small office, it's hard to miss. I. Don't. Stop.
I went back to my office sort of stunned, and sort of angry, and ready to talk to The Bomb in a calm, positive way, which I eventually did. What I heard shocked me.
She told me, quite honestly, that SFR worked fast on tasks that had to be taken care of immediately--organizing nurses and visits, scheduling, and getting and giving information about visit frequencies, and that gave her free time. Which, The Bomb said, she and the Clinical Manager and even the Director took advantage of, by giving her additional tasks. Then she said that I worked slowly. Not to imply criticism, but that I...well, there's no other way to say it. I work slowly. She worked fast and therefore 'earned' that slacker time, and me? I'm slow.
I was floored again.
I've always felt that I do everything fast. Too fast, often, which causes mistakes. It happened that way in the office a lot when VW was The Bomb, and she called me down enough that I finally learned to slow down and do my job right the first time. Something I've taught myself to do in real life. But...slow? In an almost negative fashion? Plodding? What gives?
I'm still in shock, I guess. Still trying to reconcile this version of myself with the version of myself that I hold in my head as "Me." Trying to understand it, trying to make this new paint stick to the old.
So I ask you a favor, my readers. All of you who feel like putting in your two cents worth, and even those of you who don't. Perhaps especially you. Tell me what you think I'm like. From what I've given you here, or from real life experience with me. What image do I present here? In my emails? The old radio show? On the phone or in person? Whatever source you have to draw from. No need for paragraphs or diatribes (unless you feel the need,) just something as simple as three or four adjectives, or an observation. Be free, be open. Don't hold back.
I'm really genuinely curious. Apparently I don't know myself as well as I thought I did.