Thursday, June 30, 2016

Empire of Dirt

This past week was not any better than the one before.  Communication with Super Boss was especially rocky.  He was working until midnight each night and was stressed out. I was frustrated and stressing over pushing along the implementation process.  A couple times I could feel that I was getting upset in front of him and I tried to shut it down by brusquely moving onto business.  It was such a stressful mess I thought he was angry about explaining something to me which made it so much harder for me to understand what he was trying to explain.  Wednesday was when everything came to a head so I called a friend who works in the building to help me. She helped and I felt a lot better but she pointed out that I could file a complaint about Super Boss yelling at me. I won't because it hasn't happened since April. I was a little worried how long the quiet would last because he did not seem to take my request not to be yelled at seriously. Some day I'd love to be able to request to be treated a certain way and have the person say, "OK" with no debate on word definitions or anecdotes about how they experienced so much worse.

Wednesday afternoon I was able to grab some of Super Boss' time to go over the list of questions I had amassed throughout the day. I admit I was not a happy camper as I glumly went through my list. We wound up getting into my unhappiness and I assured him that it was just the last couple of weeks thanks to this implementation. He said, "You have been miserable for two weeks." I affirmed that and told him not to worry that I have survived much worse.  I don't think that made him worry less. We talked about the analyst's teams concerns over the lack of training and communication blips. I prefaced the talk with that I didn't want to put so much on him but I thought this feedback was valuable. After this, I did mention that I am concerned about the yelling thing because I did not feel like my request was taken seriously. This was a big tough talk.

So, he sat back. Held up his hands and listed off the concerns we had discussed. Then he said "I think I should transition from being manager of this team." His face bunched up halfway through and tears ran down his face. I sat there stunned and finally said, "What? No! No! No! What do you mean?" He explained that he had such plans for our team but he is obviously failing. He has no time to build the team he wants.  Then he said that he felt our manager employee relationship is broken. That is when I started crying telling him that he's wrong and it has just been a bad couple weeks.  He said, "Chokmah, you have been coming to work miserable for two weeks. I'm your boss. I should be able to help. But I can't." Tears were streaming down his face.  I hung my head and cried. I asked him when he was leaving.  He said he has nothing in the works but it is time. I asked him if I made him want to leave. He said no. I brought my head up and looked at him.  I told him he deserves to take care of himself and be happy.  Then I told him how he's like a brother to me, that each morning I wake up and see the rug he gave me, and I have this amazing apartment thanks for his advocacy and support. His face crumpled and he started crying a lot harder which made me tell him that I wanted to let him know not to make him sad but because he knows how life is and it's important to let people know. Our crying settled down for a bit as we tried to focus on tasks and work.

I went back to my office with a list of To Do's. I tried to get in touch with our EAP office with no luck. Then I texted my roommate. I worked and cried in my office for several hours. I don't think Super Boss is the crux of our group's problems. But if he feels like he is trying and failing, that is not a great state of mind. I still could not shake the feelings of guilt and that I ruined something.

I finished my To Do list around 8 and said good night. Super Boss came out to the hallway and told me, "We'll survive this." I asked him if he understood that he told me something today that I have been dreading for a year. Then I started crying again. We had a good talk where I was able to calm down and he got weepy about what his legacy will be. 

I have decided to use this time to appreciate having him around. I will be helpful and go to him with good news as well as questions/concerns. The implementation process was completed Thursday so my stress levels should be lower. Super Boss is on vacation next week. 

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