Thoughts on climbing through poo


I was tasked with organising a ministerial event with less than 2 months on my hands. It started off as a collaborative effort but was later sort of “dumped” on me for reasons I shall not elaborate on.No point dwelling on why and what, I had to do it so I just focused on getting the job done.

You could say I was arrowed or stabbed in the back. I sweated and bled and it bloody hurt while I was desperately trying to pull out the darned weapon, but hey I was determined not to let it kill me. And it didn’t so I survived. But for a week or so I almost died. Trying to pull this gig together on my own, with my own frigging bare hands. I felt a bit like – What the hell? You left me in the effing ditch? I will effing crawl out and show you what I’ve got.

During the process I really took a bashing. People got in the way, saying unkind stuff and putting obstacles in my path. There was one particularly difficult day where I wanted to burst out crying in the office but managed to compose myself because my junior staff was there. (Ever seen your boss cry? No? Exactly. There’s a reason why.) When I got home I had a massive gastric attack that left me hyperventilating on fours. I went to bed at 8pm. I kept asking myself, is there something wrong with me? What could I have done better? Why are people so uncooperative? Should I change?

Then I stumbled upon this page (see below) in Tina Fey’s Bossypants, and realised: NO! Why should I be the one who must change? My work motto is I NEVER let people down and I will ALWAYS succeed. This is who I am and I’m sorry if you can’t keep up with my standards.

I’m proud to report that despite all the shit I had to go through, the event went really well. On the day I lost it a little bit (mainly at a guy who was just floating about aimlessly rather than getting on with what was being asked. I never understand what’s with people like that), but maintained composed throughout and even managed to fake a few smiles!

You know, looking back, although I really felt angry, betrayed and resentful while trying to pull this off on my own, I’m kinda glad I did it on my own with no one’s support. Because the credit’s all mine and nobody else’s. I had climbed out of the shithole using my sheer will, for there was no extended arm at the top.

Excerpt from Bossypants by Tina Fey, p. 144

“So my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When face with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. You energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.

If the answer is yes, you have a more difficult road ahead of you. I suggest you model your strategy after the Sesame Street film piece “Over! Under! Through!”

If your boss is a jerk, try to find someone above or around your boss who is not a jerk. Again, don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions. Go “Over! Under! Through!” and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares?

Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.

Explore posts in the same categories: Drama, Work

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