‘I know that most of living done is done in the mind’

It was a sign yesterday as I drove for my morning cup of Chocolate Cherry Kiss coffee at Einstein’s that the song “Wait” by Seven Mary Three came on the CD player. I was dreading a series of meetings and was awake way too early when I heard the lyrics in both the title and below:

“Wait, you’re almost there it’s gone

You’re almost where what follows you, does not bother you.”

And that turned my entire day around. I mean, we humans waste so much fucking time simply getting through unpleasant events. And oftentimes through no fault of our own, we are forced to retain our composure and our sense of humor when we are really wanting to pat someone on the head with a brick or give them a pedicure with a machete.

The outcome of all of my meetings was positive overall. Even though I know I conduct myself to the best of my ability, I always have that doubt in the back of my head that anybody but me realizes that. The best meeting of all was when I gave Angie her performance review — she did well and I was pleased to give her a fair and honest assessment. I even brought up some good things that she didn’t even realize she had done. Stuff like that makes me happy.

Got the payment situation resolved for my designer. We’re just going to put him on staff as a part-timer. I have a lot of work to do to make that happen, but that’s the kind of work I should be doing. I have always taken care of my people, and that is the resounding message I got from above and below yesterday — that I can pull off miracles and still make people feel like they are No. 1 on my priority list. The good thing about putting him on staff is that he gets paid when I get paid, so I save some time ultimately in chasing down the people in finance to figure out why he hasn’t been paid.

I also got my performance review. Spent the whole day dreading it. Demure!TM came into my office at 5 p.m. to ask if I just wanted to wait till Friday, and I said I wanted it then. I walked out at 6:30 p.m. with a 2.8 percent raise (of a possible 3 percent) and with the standard hoopla that I emanate vibes that I “can’t be bothered” with work that doens’t fall under my jurisdiction. And that pisses me off — I am always volunteering for more work, particularly in areas that have little to do with running the newspaper. I always get points deducted because I am vocal about hating meetings and potlucks, especially when I have deadlines. I take the attitude that, if that’s the worst you can say about me, have at it. Really. But I did get major props for creative budgeting of both time and money (especially in the face of deep budget cuts) as well as for being on-the-ball and completely dedicated to getting the newspaper on the stands, even if that means using my own personal time and resources, which it always does.

I find that, with reviews, everything I say is what ends up on the review. Really, it’s not like anyone has to pull any facts out of their asses — I give the situations to them straight and I figure out the answers myself. So I am happy to report that most of my review was not a surprise, although one of my goals for the year was to “stop fighting the establishment of the Gestapo because it is going to happen whether you want it to or not.” How the hell is that a goal? Newsflash: you hired me to act in the best interest of the newspaper. And when you have political types trying to overrun it, it is my responsibility to ensure that, if I can’t kill them, then they need to climb the fuck off my back and let me do my job.

The other thing that fried my shorts was that I am still encouraged to interact more with my colleagues. But in hte next breath, I was told that “things get back” to her about my negativity. Jesus Christ, have you ever met a happy newspaper editor? Suzy Sunshine I ain’t, and it was duly noted that I put on a smile when I am dealing with the public. What negative things are getting back? This statement went unqualified. So she wants me to talk to more people, only for them to run things back to her? It’s not like I am the negative one and everyone else is sniffing helium and saying how much they love the organization. Bah. I’m going to keep to myself even MORE, thanks to that!

Anyway, despite all that, the review was fine. I made it a point during the past year to share my triumphs and challenges, and that worked almost completely in my favor for the fact that I have busted my butt to improve communication with my supervisor. And that’s what means the most to her — knowing every burning, itching detail. Takes a lot of my time, but if that means I get a better review, then so be it. But I did note that I came to this place with a very distinct working style — and one that works for me — and I feel like there’s a plot to break me of it sometimes. And I admitted that I have a long way to go in understanding how my superiors work and that our methodologies oftentimes clash, but it’s not like I haven’t asked for personality indexes and working styles reports to help us understand each other better.

In any event, I take a few things out of yesterday. One, my boss, although a lovely person, really needs to retire. I thought she was going to shit her pants when I told Cruise Director that it’s a pain in the butt for me to approve my department’s invoices, only for her to have to re-approve them before sending them to finance. He must have read my employee survey done a month ago when I said I don’t own a single decision I make, and he said fine, cut Demure!TM out of the process — I’ve more than proven that I am careful about spending money and that if I am management, then I deserve the autonomy that comes with it. Woo hoo! She looked almost crushed. Anyway, Cruise Director really opened my eyes yesterday to the fact that he is as solution-oriented as I am, and I gained a brand-new respect for him because he really showed respect for me. And it’s sad when something so very small means so much, but at the Veggie Patch, you just take what you can get.

I also take out of the day that I am strong. Really, once you accept that you are an amazing worker/boss/leader/project coordinator/planner/strategist, no one can take that away from you. They can either help you or get out of your way, or help you and THEN get out of your way. I’ve gained my momentum back — I will steamroll anything that tries to hold me back.

And it also didn’t hurt to repeat to myself, “This is my last review here. This is my last review here. This is my last review here.”

And those bloody marys to which Angie treated me afterward never tasted so good. …

On iTunes: Seven Mary Three, “Wait”

Comments closed.