A Collective Exhalation

I have alluded to the fact that work has been… difficult, in recent weeks. It seems like this is the time of year that things get rough, the downward slide into holiday breaks, but this went well beyond the usual problems. It had gotten to the point that my friends were not enjoying coming to work, and something was going to give.

I made a decision last night, to speak up (in writing, of course). I didn’t tell anyone, or ask for anyone’s opinion first (which is not my usual course of action). I spent more hours than I’d care to admit crafting an email that would explain the position we felt like we were in, without sounding critical or mutinous. I focused on mutual respect. I ignored the adrenaline surge for the minutes that my fingertip hovered over the ‘send’ button, as I weighed the risk of sticking my neck out. But I did it. I clicked. At roughly 10:25 pm.  Then I reread a couple of times, just to be safe, not obsessive. And then it took me a few more hours to get to sleep.

I woke up this morning, feeling like I’d gone Jerry Maguire style.

What. The. Hell. Was I thinking??

It would all be movie-worthy. Me scooping up the one remaining fish and the salamander, carrying out my box of desktop ‘personal items’… ceramic apples, pencils, and school buses, maybe a homemade paperweight and a pile of drawings.

I think I would choose Beastie Boys’ Sabotage as my soundtrack for this sequence.

Of course, my parents would not be pleased to hear that I had gone out in a blaze of rambling glory, but I figured they’d get over it eventually. I dragged myself into school.

I had one of the best days I’ve had in the last month.

I think to some extent, I was preaching to the converted. By the time I got the nerve to email, he already knew how we were feeling. But he thanked me for being clear, and he apologized to all of us in a meeting after school for ‘getting lost’ and made us believe he was sincere. It was a good meeting, following several frustrating ones.

I know that my handling conflict though writing is sometimes a flaw. It is indirect, and I hate confrontation, but at times I need to get over it. Tonight however, I feel like a weight has been lifted, not just for me but for my friends, and I am content. It was unbelievably nice to talk with people after the meeting and hear positive things.

I thought about publishing the email here, because I worked so hard on it. But, I decided that would not be ethical because it was a work-related matter.  I don’t think I was single-handedly responsible for the change that came today. Not even close. But I voiced my concerns and they were heard, and sometimes that’s all it takes to feel better.

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~ by Lindsey on November 19, 2010.

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