Today proved a bit more productive than yesterday, or, perhaps not. Perhaps it was only productive in a different way. While yesterday I could find the time and focus for personal pursuits, today I had to return to work obligations and expectations. It was hard at first and I regret not allocating time for writing when I could but it felt good to make progress in other parts of my life too.
We’re hiring in my department and I’m thinking about what it means to have power and privilege over choosing people. I don’t hold much sway in my workplace but my opinions are at least heard if not always considered or heeded. It feels overwhelming to think you could play a role in someone’s employment. That you could help decide whether they have more work or less, more money or less, or are considered for more opportunities or not.
I’m thinking about what I think makes a good employee or coworker and by what criteria do I choose to recommend someone be brought on or let go. I think I lean too much on my gut and rate social or personal personality traits far too highly. I think too much about whether or not I will like a person and not enough about whether or not they can perform the work.
Whether or not I like them personally is a “me problem” just like if someone doesn’t like me I consider it a “them problem”. I come to my job to perform a function and receive a paycheck that’s all. It is a transaction and whether I enjoy the work or like my coworkers is besides the point, mostly. My point is being liked and making friends is not what I am being paid for and it is not essential to the role I play in my workplace. I should not expect more from others than I believe should be expected of me.
I should see people for their capabilities, their enthusiasm, their contribution to the goals we set as a team and leave the considerations at that. I also should use what little power I do have to further normalize this kind thinking when it comes to who should be offered advancement opportunities.
I’ve decided that, on mornings when I know I won’t have time to write or do any of the little quiet things I usually do, instead of being angry or resentful, or stressing myself out by trying to grasp even a few minutes of me time, to simply let it go.
I can’t write when I’m rushed and quiet time is useless when I’m in a bad mood, anyway. So, this morning I went on a nice walk again with my wife and the dog and it made all the difference. There will be more time for what I want to do later, but for now I can walk it out, get a new perspective and still find a sense of accomplishment.
We’re celebrating Mother’s Day today by stopping by my mother-in-law’s and mother’s house for a quick gift drop off and visit. We’re going to do our best to keep our distance and to watch what we touch and to wash our hands as soon as we get home.
I have a lot of anxiety about whether this is right or not but I know that eventually we are going have to find a way to see each other, safely. I don’t know if it’s time yet but when will it be time? This new coronavirus isn’t going away. We will have to live with it and for now I think making sure to keep our distance, not touch our faces, and to wash and sanitize after visiting is the best we can do.
Both visits went very well. I’m happy to see that all of our closest Colorado loved ones are still doing well and to get to talk to them face to face. It was a little jarring though. It’s been so long since we’ve been around other people. We’re not used to the noise or the energy it takes to have a conversation.
The visits drained me. I don’t mean that in a bad way. I only mean it in the natural and normal way. When I got home, I needed calm and silence again. I couldn’t do anything but lay in bed, eat snacks, and watch TV.
I keep thinking about what it will be like when I go back to work and hoping that the proposed idea of us working staggard shifts and short hours. I’m sure I’m going to need to ease back into interacting with people. It was exhausting already before. It’s going to be much worse for a while why I adjust.