Dear Old Friend,
My friends at work always explain the inexplicable ridiculous fever that comes over corporate workers on Fridays with, “Well, looks like another ‘Case of the Fridays!'” This is such a perfect way to describe this Friday Fever when everyone is too happy and looking forward to the weekend that their work performance suffers. But, most people don’t care too much because they, too, have a Case of the Fridays!
Then, most unfortunately, there are Mondays. Cases of the Mondays are not so gleeful. Where Fridays are that pot of gold under the rainbow, Mondays are more like that weird feeling you get when the sun hasn’t been out for a few days; like you have an unquenchable thirst for something but you don’t know what that something is.
Anyways, I’m usually so happy and optimistic all the time that Mondays don’t really affect me, but today was different.
Really, everything was fine until…I scheduled a meeting in a room in the other building. Little did I know, the “other” building wasn’t the building I thought it was. I was in the correctly labeled room, but the wrong building.
When I finally found my way to the correct building and the correct room, I was afraid to walk through the door. You could feel the tension fuming from the room- so thick it could be cut with a knife. My project manager and his engineer were not happy.
I apologized of course and quickly jumped into the meeting – as so not to waste any more of their time and finished getting through all of my questions early. They were still very ungrateful and looked at me like I was worthless and since I was late, lost, and confused they had some right to do so, but here’s what I got out of the meeting.
- Always double, triple check where the meeting room is if you haven’t been there before.
- Arrive well ahead of time and find the room and make sure it is the right one, once again.
- Never, ever treat your subordinates or your team or anyone with the same furious impatience that my managers did.
Number one and two are obvious, but sometimes we all need a reminder. Number three, however is a personal journal entry for myself.
I have been observing businesses and how people work together ever since I got my first job at a retail store. You can learn so much by observing people. When I find an interaction with a manager that I didn’t like or that I did, I write it down or note it somehow so I can try to remember to do or to not do that interaction in the future.
The furious rage and impatience that my managers emitted didn’t help our meeting for a number of reasons. (Even though they had a right to be upset because I was late)
- My team and I were upset for the rest of the day that they were so disappointed in us that we could barely focus on our work.
- The meeting did not have an atmosphere of “How can we fix this?” and instead had one of “I’m not going to be helpful to these people because they did something stupid.”
What I mean by the first point is that it is okay to be upset, but at the end of the day- mistakes happen. They especially happen when people are new and not accustomed to the layout of the buildings. It’s easy to get lost in these modern buildings that have no sequenced layout. Even with a map!
The second point is so important. While they had a right to be upset, it would have been better if they had taken a deep breath and said, “You know what, it doesn’t matter. Try harder to make this not happen next time. Now, let’s get to work.” Which is what we said, but I don’t think the managers heard us through their rage.
Overall, it sucks when people are late. Nobody enjoys waiting for an appointment to arrive and especially one who can’t plan ahead for issues like these. But, the thing is, acting like that affects the mentality of the team and hinders progress.
I was upset for the rest of the day, mostly being disappointed in myself. A long run through the golf course and the Man Upstairs throwing down a mighty thunderstorm was plenty enough to calm me down. I’ll just have to try again tomorrow.
Just something to think about. One more thing to add to the What I Will Try My Hardest Not To Do When I Am A Manager Someday List- it’s a very simple and very old lesson:
Don’t cry over spilled milk.
Your favorite rainy-day adventurer
The babbling brook behind my house this evening during the mighty thunderstorm. Even the Man Upstairs has a Case of the Mondays sometimes.