Planning, Planning, Planning

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

January 29, 2013


Categories: One a Day, Post a Day 2013

I like to have back up plans. Always. I don’t know when it started. Maybe because of my list-making mother and reinforced by the time I sold books door to door. Then, it was doubly reinforced when I worked in hotel management.

Always have a back up plan.

So, my former employer was shocked when I told her that I’m always looking for work. I’m subscribed to lists, and I’m always keeping a pulse for what is going on out there.

I can’t help it. You have to have a backup plan, and the last job search was torture. I looked for a ballpark of 300 jobs in 3 years, landing on my current role. Now, the added complexity is that fit matters most. It has to be a good mission fit and a good culture fit. So, I’d be silly to not keep looking. There have been a few roles that have popped up that so excited me, completing the necessary materials was a breeze. When it really isn’t a good fit, I agonized over it.

Planning, planning, planning.

Over twenty jobs (including volunteer) in my twenties, from when I started working at 15. I’ll be 35 this year. That’s an average of a job a year.

So, I know the ropes on finding a new job – some successful  some not. And, I know the signs of what I do when I’m looking to leave a job. I tidy things up. I have a renewed sense of hope about the future, especially if the previous role was a soul sucking cesspool of negativity. I am looser at work as the stressors that are holding me down hold me down less as the days go by. It doesn’t matter that there will be future stressors, it’s the hope of release from the current stressors that buoy me to joy.

A historically grumpy co-worker started to sing a different tune. She preempted politeness and kind remarks. This was not her pattern of late. I found it peculiar but did not say anything. Then, several days later, she rescinded her business card order. She claimed it didn’t matter, might as well conserve, doesn’t matter that the title isn’t correct. I told her no worries. I had a nagging thought after these two items naturally linked themselves: Did she find a new job?

I have pretty much assumed that all of my co-workers are looking for work. Maybe three or four are content to stick out their roles. But, my general sense is that people don’t feel appreciated. They have this general down-trodden aura about them. Who wouldn’t look for a new job under these circumstances?

Did I ask her, though? No. We are not close at work and I was not comfortable with that query.

So, I asked a work buddy. The work buddy grinned, but did not confirm but to say we’ll know “soonish.”

I am a planner. We are in the midst of hiring, and if this supposition is true, then we’ll have to continue hiring. The grumpy co-worker is not happy here, so this is a good thing – with hopefully renewed hope at whatever this next endeavor entails.

I am getting to know the grumpy co-worker’s boss more, and I am gaining more respect for her every day. I do not want her left in the lurches. but, this is partially confirmed information. I am plagued with the question: Do I say something or do I not?

So, I draft a text, planning to send it after the work day is done so weekend pondering could ensue. But, we had to chat, 15 minutes before 5 o’clock hit. I had held this peculiar “news” in all day, and I had to say something. Planning.

This is what I am telling myself. Planning. I believe this to be true. I do not like spreading gossip. I am secretly proud I figured out the mystery, but I want to be right, not rumored. I want the next position to be filled and restructured with minimal impact. We’re already behind and training can hiccup us more.

So, I erred on the side of planning, and repeated an unconfirmed theory. I’m not sure it matters if I was right or not. Staff has been passing around job descriptions – elsewhere – to each other. So, we all need to be ready for that inevitable day when the person you counted on to do a task is no longer there.

The irony is, I think, that no one – no manager or staff – take each other for granted. But, I think the feeling is that each views the other as taking them for granted. So, staff views management as management taking staff for granted. And, management views staff as staff taking management for granted.

Which brings me to a point I’ve oft-repeated verbally, though not likely here, we’re all in this together. So, if we think the system is failing, we’re collectively making it fail. So, how can we collectively get out of the tailspin into failure and bring us into a flurry of success?


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