PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Welcome to Crazytown, an Ongoing Story

I had my one & only employee quit last week; it was a blessing for her and an opportunity for me; fortunately, a friend of mine was already pursuing something here with my bosses, and it all fell into place at the speed of light. So now, Miss K is coming here this week, and life will be even better!

When we were discussing her future (the girl who quit), she said how she had liked working with me, and felt like she'd learned a lot, and that she would always associate "crazytown" with me.
Immediately backpedalling, as I was hooting and saying things like, "GEE! THANKS!" she said, "No, no! It's just your phrase!" Because I use it all the time, and at the new job it's mostly to refer to processes or systems that aren't in place and the helter-skelter manner in which stuff around here gets done. The cool thing is, I at least get to exercise the chance to CREATE the processes and forms and whatnots. My thing is, you have to have a level of organization and some systems in place, but they shouldn't vine up and get a stranglehold around your neck.

The last place I worked tended to get choked by the philosophy of "must adhere to The Way". One of the things that made the last place Crazytown was how my boss would snap at me for being "too creative" and dismissive of any alternative ideas I had, but then in department meetings would say over and over, "Don't do it the way it's always been done! Think creatively! We need to push our vendors to really come up with creative solutions!" Uh, yeah. In a home environment being forensically examined by a psychologist, I think that's called "Mixed Messages". And as I look back on my time there, I see that it's incredibly logical what happened to me in the final couple of years: I got paralyzed. Fear of doing too much, saying the wrong thing, fear of doing it differently, fear of losing my job. One of the things that saved me, albeit just a month before I quit, was the decision I made: I would quit before October 1. (Some dreaded, dreaded work happens in the fall.) The day I said, out loud, "I'm not going through (dreaded work) again," I felt like half a ton of bricks had been taken off my body. Then, four weeks later I got to say, "YO, I'm not only leaving, I'm gonna be the director at the new gig! hah!" Karma? Luck? Divine Intervention? I dunno. I know I was due.

I left Crazytown with some baggage. I don't plan on having this baggage in four months, but I know I have it now, I own it, it's got my name on it, it all matches, and I know exactly where it came from & how it came to be. I still get angry when I think about particular situations and people, I want the karma bus to gas up, hit full speed and drive right over a couple people there. It's not good to be obsessed with commeuppence, I know. I'm giving myself six months to be rid of the anger and resentments - I figure it took over two years to create, it won't be gone in a week - and I'm gonna keep squawking periodically to get it out of my system. The good news is, I've already seen and felt the difference in me, as I'm way more relaxed, I don't have headaches every day, and my jaw isn't clenched from the moment I start my workday.

So I chalk some of my penchant for frothiness up to that crusader inside me, who wants to fix the world and make everything "right" and "fair". Because there are a lot of good people working at the old place who are renting living space in Crazytown (as opposed to those who've bought property & changed their drivers' licenses and everything - "lifers" who've bought the program and drink the kool-aid). The renters, they deserve better, and it honks me off that the "powers-that-be" there don't feel compelled to really dig in and fix it. Fixing things usually requires a lot of change. Change can be good, but it usually isn't simple or comfortable. I see it at my new job - people are craving change, but they don't want to go THROUGH change.

In the end, you can only control so much & you just have to decide - do you wanna live in Crazytown? Or in Hopeville? I was grateful to find a bus out of Crazytown before I had to start hitchhiking.

Smart dude observation for the day:

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." ~Benjamin Franklin

My mantra:
Be the change you want to see in the world.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:07 AM