I stand for my team

I report to two managers. I have learned what goes to who and how to work with both, but something has set off one of them recently. I have some guesses as to what, but what doesn’t matter, not when you’re coming after my team. She has begun telling me off for how I manage certain things that are technically under the other managers responsibilities, who is perfectly fine with how I’m running things. She’s pissed that she can’t control this aspect and it shows. She has begun demanding I start writing up my employees for things they have not done wrong. Most of the time I can protect them from that and they have no idea how I am standing up for them when they can’t see it. But occasionally I can’t, she finds (or forces) a way around me.

Yesterday one of my employees compared us to the angel/demon on the shoulders. That technically we say the same things, but it is so drastically different in approach that it feels like those two separate entities. This breaks my heart. No one should feel torn like this at work, work is stressful enough on its own. I want to merge the gap, but how do I do that without losing some of that “angel” side I feel they deserve?

When we have differing opinions she demands that I look at it from a “business standpoint.” That it isn’t her showing a lack of empathy, it’s her watching out for the business because she has to. Well I call bullshit on that! Want to look from a “business standpoint?” Fine, let’s do that.

There are numerous studies on the cost of employee turnover, a good starting point if you’re interested is here. Not only does it have strong explanations, but also links to multiple other studies and articles. In general it is estimated that for each employee lost the company is paying 1.5 to 2 times their annual salary to replace them. So let’s throw out a random number and say your entry level employee is making $12 per hour. Annual salary is $24,960 so the cost to lose and replace that employee will cost $37,440 to $49,950.

So here is one of numerous examples over the last few weeks. An employee is running in at the last minute and clocking in a few minutes late because she had to spend her lunch break getting her mother to the doctor. I am aware, and mention to try to get in a bit earlier and call if you’re going to be late, but that I understand that things sometimes make that hard. I don’t tell little miss “business standpoint” cause it’s none of her goddamn business. Someone else in the office complains and she pulls me aside to say it’s “embarrassing” to have someone else bring it to her attention and that I need to issue a written warning. I mention that the employee technically is on time, but I understand the perception issue and will speak to her. I will not issue a written warning as this has not been an issue in the past and in fact you had just complimented this exact employee on her timeliness. “Well I was looking at a different period of time. This is not acceptable to this business!”

So the following morning I chat with said employee and explain that there are perception issues that can cause concern if coming in at the last minute, and beyond that it is also more stressful for you as well. Try to get in about 10min early as often as possible to have that extra time to settle in and not feel or look hurried. She says that makes a lot of sense, and that she was told we would be “having this chat” but that it made a lot more sense than the previous afternoons conversation. What? Yeah, bitch face had pulled the employee aside after speaking with me the day before and told her that “if you can’t remember to come on time, you can’t continue to work here.”

So let me get this straight. A temporary timeliness issue in order to get your mom to the doctor is worth costing the company tens of thousands of dollars so you can show off your “business standpoint?” And this is one of numerous instances over the course of the last few weeks. I can only imagine what she’s saying to my other manager to see if she can get him to write me up while we’re at it. I only wonder if he will stand for me as much as I do for my team.

If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee you’d be laughing at what a wuss I am. I found a cricket in the bathroom and am terrified of all things bug/insect/arachnid and the like. So my choices were wake up the hubby or wake up the cat. I assumed my cat would have more fun than my husband in a grand cricket chase so I went with option number two. After some placing of my kitten in front of the cricket she finally noticed it. Let the games begin, and may the odds be ever in your favor cricket. So she proceeded to play with the cricket, scare the cricket, taste the cricket, until finally grabbing the cricket in her mouth. I expected that to be the end of the cricket until kitty started walking away carrying it in her mouth with pride and not eating it. She pranced into the bedroom and I have not seen her since. So either the cricket has been eaten, or I shall receive the gift of cricket in my face in the middle of the night. Only time will tell. May the odds be ever in my favor.

I’ll be your farmer if you’ll be my gun

Do you ever think about if you could survive the zombie apocalypse, and how? I totally do. It probably would make more sense to plan for more likely apocalypses (apocalypsi?) but I don’t think I would live long enough to see apocalypse status. Like if it were from war, I’d probably do something stupid like go outside to see what that loud sound was. If it was from a mutant virus, well lord knows I catch everything and respond to no medication. If it was from like a giant meteor or something it’d probably smoosh me anyway. So zombie apocalypse is really my only shot here.

I figure first I need drinkable water, yeah? I know where rivers and streams are in my area and most of my surrounding states thanks to early adulthood road trips, and can easily get my hands on more of the water testing kits to make sure the zombies didn’t poison the water. Though I don’t think they usually do that, do they?

Second I need food. I come from farmers on my moms side of the family, so I have a few skills. I would mostly focus on vegetable gardens and fruit trees with some cows and chickens for milk and eggs. I have a black thumb when it comes to most plants, but surprisingly the only garden I’ve successfully grown is a vegetable garden. So in theory I should be able to make it work.

Third is shelter. I come from carpenters on my dads side, so can actually build things surprisingly enough. So far I’m doing pretty good! I would need to learn how to properly chop and process wood. But after loosing a few limbs I think I’d get the hang of it 😉

Fourth, and this is where I struggle, I need protection. Everyone knows that the way to kill a zombie is a gun shot to the head. Unless Hollywood has been lying to us. But Hollywood wouldn’t do that, they are totally trustworthy! Right?! So anyhoo, I have no coordination and could never trust myself with a gun. So I need help. I need a non-shaking, non-clumsy, very coordinated hand with a gun. Ideally that hand would also be attached to a body, but I don’t judge. So if anyone wants to team up with me for the zombie apocalypse and has a hand that matches that description, let me know. I’ll totally share my veggies and milk and eggs!

Because science

So the kids are back in school, and are learning to share faster than learning to properly wash their hands and cover their mouth. So the whole family’s been sick and it is currently my turn. After a full day of work, a conference call for a new project, and a trip to the psych, I’m at home and exhausted.

I decided to drink some coffee to perk me up and get stuff done, but my nose and ears wanted to be jerks. So I took cold medicine with the coffee, because drowsy + caffeine = ???

So basically I’m a mad scientist experimenting with chemicals. Ok that sounds bad. At this point it’s probably best I lie down and see if I’m capable of falling asleep. Who knows, maybe I’ll be highly productive in my dreams. That could be a fun change.

If we were having coffee…

If we were having coffee we would most likely be drinking juice as well. I want the caffeine, the break from dreams and confused exhaustion, but I also want juice. Juice tastes good.

If we were having coffee I would apologize for being gone so much. Life is hectic with kids activities, volunteer activities, and more. Beyond that is sleep issues that can’t decide which issue they want to be on any given day, and constant fear and sadness over a friend still on suicide watch.

If we were having coffee I would cheer us all up as I showed you the bizarre dance my son created this week. Think young Elvis Presley, drunk, high, and attempting baton twirling. That’s really the best I can describe it 😂. We also would chat over other fun things from the week. I got to hang out with a friend I haven’t seen for a while and it could not have been more perfect together time. I also got a kitten that is currently sleeping next to me, and thankfully not on my keyboard as she was earlier.

If we were having coffee I would ask you what your favorite moment from the week was. I’d love to hear from you!

By a robber in the woods

A very dear friend of mine attempted suicide this weekend. She survived and is safe in a psychiatric hospital right now. But I spoke with her today and she still seems overcome by the depression and the sorrow she faces. I looked briefly through photos of us over the past few months and can see, now with clarity, the smile on her face and the sorrow in her eyes.

I am in hermit mode while I safely heal my own broken heart as she exhaustedly fights for hers. I await to see the success of her fight because I cannot bear it to think she may lose. She is strong, though she doesn't see it. She is brave, though she sees only her fear. I will see the truth of her on her behalf while she navigates the dark woods of her depression.

I do not claim to be religious but have studied numerous scholars of numerous religions. One of the things that has always stuck with me was the idea by Martin Luther in the 16th Century that suicide did not mean that the soul was damned. That having your life taken by the despair the devil attacks you with is no different than being murdered by a robber in the woods. I believe that to be true.

My friend was attacked by a robber in the woods. She survived but continues to fight through these horrifying woods of her mind. I hope she receives the guidance she needs to make it out. Whether through a god, a therapist, a friend, or a family member. I want her to come safely out, back into the sunshine that will heal her.

He’s still processing

I could see that my son was stressed, but unsure why exactly. He's 6 years old so doesn't know the words for what is happening in his mind. We talked and I gave him time to process the words while I listened. And I gave him some new words that might help explain his feelings, and make him feel less alone in his thoughts.

He started out by saying he wishes this was a dream.
"Why do you wish it were a dream?"
"I think maybe it should be a nightmare."
"What makes it a nightmare?"
"Um, because I want to wake up from it."
"Why do you want to wake up from this?"
Long pause….
"I just do."
"If you woke up, what would be different?"
"Well, I wouldn't have to eat all the healthy food" pause…
"Anything else?"
"Yeah, my room would be clean."
"Well, you can make that happen."
"But there's SO MUCH. All the toys all around, it makes me like I'm dizzy."
"Ok. Well we can find ways to make that easier."
Long pause….
"Is there anything else that would be different?"
"Well…"
Another pause…
"You can tell me sweetie."
"Well…. my fish would be back."

And that's when it clicked. He's been more irritable since his fish died. I can't believe I didn't connect the two before. So we snuggled for a bit, he began to cry. I just hugged him. I can see he's still processing the loss of his fish and it breaks my heart. We talked a bit more. I told him that maybe he was stressed, and he asked what that means. I described it as when things make us upset in a way that our feelings make us feel dizzy. But not like spinning around in circles dizzy, just an emotions dizzy.

I could see his understanding. I knew that was what he had been trying to put into words. I explained that when our stress feels really big, it makes us feel overwhelmed. I think he understood.

Today my son learned that his emotions have names, and he is not alone in them. Today I was reminded that he does have strong emotions, and I need to help him learn to process them. I never learned that as a child. I have the emotional (and physical) scars to prove it. I will do all that I can to help my kids learn to process their emotions.

Scheduling sucks

So I got chewed out by my boss this morning for not properly documenting something that I scheduled (technically just approved to be scheduled) back in April. Than I realize I scheduled something else wrong, went in to correct it, and got hit with 20 questions on "why are you making changes?" Maybe I'm making changes to make you stop bitching at me! Clearly my mind is adjusting well to my third new manager in a year.

Then I realize I forgot to schedule a time to stop by the pharmacy, but not to worry, I'll be in that area tomorrow for my psych follow up, I can get them on the way there. But if she changes my meds that's a waste, so I should get them on the way back. But if I do that I'll be late coming home and I have to get my son to Karate class. Why did I schedule an appointment on the other side of town immediately before Karate class?

Of course at this point of my scheduling nightmare of a day I decided to stop dwelling and instead take some notes on what to mention to the psych since it's a follow up from a recent med change. My attempt to think of notes went as follows "it made me constantly exhausted which was not insomnia, but still sucked, but then it got better, but than worse, but I can't tell cause I've been exhausted all day, but it's past midnight and I'm still awake, but the dreams are better, but not last night, but I've been feeling, um, better? Same? Um, I don't know, but BREATH DAMMIT. So I decided not to write that down for her.

What I did notice was that I have no idea how the new med is effecting me, and mostly that is because I'm hormonal. Because apparently I thought it would be a good idea to follow up with my psych during my period. Because of course that would give me a great understanding of my body chemistry from the new med!

So I suck at scheduling, and my new boss already hates me, and I'm exhausted… again.

Good night y'all. Wish me a night of dreamless sleep 😴