Continuing the discussion on purpose and value, I felt it appropriate to follow up on maintaining your values after being rattled. This past week has left me tense and off centered—not so far off that I’m completely out of alignment, but far enough off that I can see something is not right. I’ve often struggled with the politics in place at my job. I don’t enjoy playing games and I definitely like things to go how they are supposed to—and working in the medical field, I don’t feel that is a negative. In spite of the nature of what we do, the focus on healing, the clarity of what needs to be done, the personal drama still kicks in. What we do requires a high level of functioning and I don’t know if that incapacitates the brain socially after a certain amount of time. Meaning we are so engrossed in the day to day intensity of healing that the pressure kicks in and we resort to child like behavior with each other—name calling, undermining, finger pointing, etc.
This week I was put on the spot twice for things I had no previous experience with. One of my teams is moving locations and I wasn’t invited to any discussion of their change in hours or what the actual transition would look like. When I began explaining the information I was given to my team, it got heated enough we had to involve human resources. It was only then that my boss invited me to a meeting that had already been on the calendar as part of the preparation for this move. There had already been a series of meetings to curate this discussion—I wasn’t on any of them. During the meeting they asked when our operation was closing and what that would look like over the course of the move. My boss couldn’t unmute herself and she typed out to the group that I was on the call and could speak to that. I made the choice to step up and I did the best I could, but I was still caught off guard. I had no clue what had previously been discussed, I had no idea they were waiting for a decision, and I had no idea what impact my uninformed statements would have on this move.
I detest not being prepared for things and I had outright been excluded in the decisions coming up to the final meeting—I hadn’t even been invited to any of the prep meetings. I hate giving concrete answers when I have zero context to how we got there—I can’t speak to the purpose if I wasn’t involved in the decision making process, I can just rattle off someone else’s choice. I’m still frustrated by it. I’m also frustrated by having to make decisions for people involved in the process where they can easily turn the blame on me if something goes wrong.
The other situation was an email chain my boss sent me that contained a week long discussion about how to market a service that has moved within the organization. She’d already been having this conversation with marketing and then randomly emails me saying she will “bring me up to speed,” gave me a five second overview, and expected a decision immediately. When your boss comes to you with a project like that, it’s difficult to say no. I found out after the fact that she had reached out to one of my employees instead of coming to me—a week ago.
Today I woke up and this feeling hasn’t been sitting right with me. I’ve been trying to say that it is a message to step up and step into my power, to trust myself more, and to recognize that I am more capable than I thought. I’ve also been trying to tell myself that it’s only my ego on the line and that looking foolish isn’t the end of the world. But then I realized that looking like I don’t know what I’m doing is a detriment to my career. Regardless of the background, if I’m constantly in situations where I can’t provide an answer to something, it starts to look like I don’t know what I’m doing. Then I looked at the cards from a site I follow and it talked about walking away and recognizing when someone isn’t being forthright with us. Knowing when a situation isn’t healthy for our souls anymore. And I have to question, regardless of the lessons, whether or not this is actually healthy for me.
I will not make any hard and fast decisions—I’m a record keeper and I like to gather all the facts. I also don’t like fumbling around trying to make a choice when the resources are available and being withheld for whatever reason. I do know that I’m tired of constantly feeling like I don’t know which way is up and being responsible for choices I had no part in making. I also know that I do have the choice in how this plays out. I can take the lesson of trusting myself as well as the lesson that I can’t always trust others—sometimes their actions speak louder than words and those actions say, “I’m willing to leave you out to dry for the sake of my own skin.” It takes some time to recognize the difference.
Lastly, I want to play devil’s advocate to my own situation. There is a distinct possibility that my boss may see something in me that I don’t see myself. She may very well be asking me to step up because she has faith that I can do it. That actually does give me some relief even if it doesn’t comfort me much. Sometimes the role of a mentor is to show us we have the ability when we don’t believe it ourselves. I may never know the intent, but I can define what this means to me. I know I don’t want to sit with the belief that I’m being sabotaged so I can choose to believe the latter—that I am being called to step up. Growth isn’t always pretty. Sometimes it’s fumbling through a meeting, sometimes it’s realizing what we want for ourselves, and sometimes it’s deciding how we want to interpret the situation.