Sunday, November 15, 2009

Verse for a Manager

One visitor to my site, hailing from a country in Southeast Asia, found me by searching for "Verse for manager who's leaving." I wonder what kind of verse they were looking for.

The weight of wallowing projects on his brow,
Her steps are cautious and confident;
The path she leads us seems sometimes unclear,
But at destination I understand.

Two years into my job, I'm so grateful to work with my supervisor, Fiona. She's supportive, she's almost always available at a moment's notice for a word of advice, and I feel very comfortable with her. Sometimes we informally debrief after work hours are done, meaning I step into her office and we talk over how things were. It helps me think out the day out loud.

Though she's amazing in so many ways I sometimes give her a hard time. Mostly I swallow my comments and later share them with my parents or a friend. Working closely with someone for a few years we get to know each others' strengths and weaknesses very well. And weaknesses, well, like a married couple they seem blunt after a few years.

One thing that takes a good deal of patience to deal with is her difficulty in making certain decisions. Small example: Shopping for raffle presents. Fiona could stay at the store for two hours rethinking the pros and cons for each choice. Or sometimes she tells me to do something by saying, "You should do this. Or I could do it. Or [other case manager] could do it." Ba! Just tell me to do it. Though admittedly she's gotten much better about that. I don't want to go into too many examples for sake of anonymity -- but let's keep in mind the number of decisions a program manager needs to make on a daily basis. Times 30, it can get stressful. For her. And for me. That's why I'd like her to actually delegate to me and the other case managers more, but Fiona believes she's part of the team and has to be a part of all programs we do. Which, if the decision was made prior on how a program would go, it's great. If not, discussions abound.

One day I was griping to my parents about something that happened with Fiona and my dad interjected with, "Well, you'll do it differently when you're the supervisor."

"Uh-- Well--" I stumbled with my words. Of course everything's that's not working is painfully clear when you're not in charge. But -- and I have recognized this from the first few months -- Fiona does a lot of managerial duties very well that I don't think I can at this point. But sometimes you just need to vent. Though, ah, maybe less often than I've been doing.

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