Good to be King or Lonely at the Top

Today I was awakened by my work cell phone at 6:30 am, 5 hours before the start of my temporary shift. The call was to notify me that 2 of my normal 7 am to 3:30 pm workers would not be in today. After only 4 hours of sleep, my sleep pattern is still in sync with my normal 3:30 to Midnight shift, I had to react and react quickly. I contacted my 2 part time workers and offered them an opportunity to work some additional hours to provide shift coverage. Thankfully, they both accepted my offer and I was able to go back to bed until 9 am.

I arrived at work to find that there were multiple complaints earlier this morning. This meant that in my absence, after my temporary exit time of 8 pm, the night crew I normally supervise chose to take shortcuts and not provide the level of service I expect from them. Most of my crew did everything they are required to do. A small portion did not. Performing maintenance on a 220,000 square foot building needs to be conducted on a tight schedule and I found myself behind because a few workers took advantage of my trust. Of course, they made excuses for not completing their work, but I didn’t fall off the Turnip Truck yesterday. Without supervision these workers simply chose not to perform their assigned duties. End result being I was pressured to correct the discrepancies. This led to workers on the day shift being angry at the night shift workers. I had to act as a referee between the workers.

There were many other issues that made my day unpleasant. My physical therapy session went badly. Several new projects were dumped in my lap with expected completion dates, yet lacking any funding. Several pieces of equipment were reported as broken. Due to all the distractions I was not able to conduct interviews to hire additional staff.

In the past a day like this would have led to me drinking myself into a stupor. Self destruction as a means to escape. However, tonight when I got home my neighbor had a flat tire and asked if I could help. I quickly forgot about all the problems I was dealing with at work and proceeded to offer my tools and knowledge for his cause. In a relatively short period of time I had repaired his tire, forgotten my frustrations, and felt a sense of accomplishment. He offered to pay me and I refused any money. I believe neighbors should help neighbors. God will reward those who do his bidding.

So to summarize this particular piece, being a supervisor in a federal government organization can be as challenging as any position as I have faced in civilian life after leaving the military 25 years ago as a disabled veteran. Although I still consider myself an addict, I believe that my faith in GOD and willingness to help others will help me maintain a purposeful life.

If you have read this, I thank you. Although I hope that people will read my blog I use this as a way to put my feelings in print. By putting this out I am able to stress less about my daily life. By reading others blogs I feel a sense of connection of our human condition.

Rarely I feel good when as a supervisor I am told we as a team exceeded the expectations of the people we serve. At those times it feels good to be king. At other times when things go badly, which is 90%, it is lonely at the top. This is the hand I have been dealt. I can only control my own actions and influence only those willing to be led. My future is what I make of it. GOD is GREAT. My son and my dog love me even on bad days.


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