Why I'm so tired

There's been so much going on lately it isn't even funny. End of year concerts, karate, soccer starting up, camping, biking, new landscaping. I've been running a mile a minute at home. However, the thing that has been stressing me out is work Warning now, this might get long.

I've posted some stuff about what's going on at work, but it's time to get it all out of me, release if from my body, and get back to living again. It started a couple of months ago at my annual review. I got blindsided on it and was basically told there was a problem with my ability to work with my peers and my boss had no idea how to fix it. This was followed by getting shit for a raise and resulted in a "don't give a fuck" attitude from me for a while. This was a relatively idillic time for me as I completely let go of all work stress and just did what I thought was the absolutely necessary tasks.

Fast forward to two weeks ago (roughly). I finally managed to pin down my boss to a one on one to try and tell me what I needed to do to get better at my job. It was not a pretty conversation. She reiterated not only her concern, but the CIO's concern that I was not able to work with my peers in any meaningful way. She threw around statements such as "not satisfied in your job", "right guy in the role", "don't know if we need to re-org or what" and finished with "you have no influence". Talk about kicking a guy in the gut. I came out of that meeting seriously wondering if she was looking for an excuse to fire my ass.

Let me tell you this caused me some serious stress for no short amount of time. We spoke on a Thursday and I'd felt like I had a rock in my stomach for the entire weekend. You don't easily let something like that go. I did the only thing I could think to do come Monday morning. I got back to basics. She pretty much told me about the worst thing you can say about me: I can't build good relationships. My entire professional style and personality is about building those personal relationships with my co-workers and customers. One of the things that's made me so successful in my job is my ability to become someone the business can trust to help them navigate the complicated IT organization and help them achieve their goals.

So I took my top projects and started making calls and seeing people to get things done instead of relying on email. I made the long day trip to headquarters to personally speak to the managers I needed to get assistance. I got out of my damn chair and went to see my customers again. Under normal circmstances, it would be liberating. Now I felt under the gun. Top it off with trying to get away from email but that being almost the only way to get in touch with my manager.

By the end of the week the rock in my stomach was smaller, but not going away. And the back of my head started to hurt which I knew was from tension. I've been seriously considering whether or not I want to remain a part of this organization but finding a new job isn't easy these days. But I kept on. This week, the boss was in town and I tried to pin her down for a few minutes just to get some direction on issues going on. I had been debating if I got her ear whether to just come out and lay it all down: do you want me around or not and if you do are you going to work with me to get better. A very risky move.

I managed to get 5 minutes of her time yesterday. I quickly got her up to speed on personnel issues. I told her what I was doing to improve my performance and she liked my approach. I then jumped in (sort of) and told her I'd been under a lot of strain since our last conversation and wanted to make sure if she and I "were good". She reassured me that "we're good". She also agreed that my keeping her informed via email was acceptable at this time.

So I got about as much of a reassurance as I'm probably ever going to get that at least she's not out to purge me from the organization. It's not much, but it will have to do. I can't go on working under a cloud of fear, which was where I was. You can't manage confidently if you think one mistake is going to be your last. So where do I go from here? I keep working my magic and building relationships with the people I work with, inside and outside the department. I get out to headquarters more often so I can talk to the people I need to talk to. I keep working on my MBA. I leave the work at work. I keep my eyes open in case something comes up.

What probably helped me turn the corner is a sermon given when I attended the funeral of my sister-in-law's mother. The priest said, in effect, you're exactly where God needs you to be right now. I have to trust that this is true. In my professional career, this is not an easy time, but there's a reason I'm where I'm at. Sure, in hindsight I see the things I should have done and the influences that probably caused me to disregard all the things I say I believe and do the opposite. But in the end it doesn't really matter. I am where I am. I'm not sure where I'm going. But the Lord will get me there.


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