We’re all about the #GrowthMindset at my company. It’s kind of a mantra that my team has adopted, since we’re a bunch of trainers who focus on onboarding new-hires and — as of 2017 — continuous professional training and development. I drank the Kool-Aid on it at the beginning of last month and have been pushing myself for success ever since.
Every week, I try to regroup, reflect, and try to point out areas of improvement. Last week I took a step forward, which was huge. I was proactive, took initiative, but ultimately felt overwhelmed. This week, I took three steps back.
In fairness, it wasn’t just me. My whole team has been disjointed this week. We have three training classes going on right now and two coming up next week. Our plate’s full. We’re stretched thin. We’re stressed. Our coffee machine broke for a day. And when we get put into positions like these, I find it best to try and lighten the mood as best as I can. Unfortunately, that makes me look “unprofessional” and “disruptive” and “like all I do is fuck around and distract people.” Fuck you too, Steve. Not my fault I know how to have a good time.
In fairness, here are some of the things he was referencing.
Walked around the office making the same dad joke for 20 minutes.
“Hey Terry, what do you call an alligator that solves crimes? An investigator!”
Got wine drunk and talked on the phone with my ex two nights in a row.
Anytime someone comes back into your life after a year and a half with absolutely no communication will fuck you up in one way or another. Whether you’re elated or furious, it’s going to distract you. For a minute, I really thought there was a shot that we might get back together in the long run.
We won’t be. I’m not going to get into why, but I’ll tell you it’s not because of anything anyone said in the comments section (yeah, I read those). I said some things that were mean, she got rightfully upset, and thus the chapter of my love life called “Charlie and Kelly” came to a final close.
That happened on a Tuesday, and I spent Wednesday sitting at my desk, staring at half full project plans, listening to Deja Entendu, and honestly wondering how I had become the person I am today. Needless to say, I got very little done.
Told my audience that the only reason I was giving them a presentation was to cover our ass.
I think transparency is good. If you’re straight with me, I’m much more likely to trust and respect you. Shit, I’ll probably begrudgingly do whatever it is that you’re trying to get me to do.
On Monday, I learned that too much transparency in the wrong setting is a horrible fucking idea. As my audience gathered in our conference room and I started my presentation, someone raised their hand and asked why it was they were in the meeting. As a knee jerk reaction, I basically told the room that the only reason they were getting trained on something they already do is so that we could have it on paper that they were trained in it.
In that moment, I lost the enthusiasm of the entire audience. Nobody wanted to participate since everyone knew that the whole presentation was being done as a formality. It was like pulling teeth. Never again.
Finally, this interaction:
4:00 p.m., in front of a new-hire class.
Riley: Hey Charlie…
Riley: Why do you have “Square Dancing?” written and circled on the white board?
Me: Makes animated gesture towards the new-hire class. Oh…oh shit, you didn’t tell them?
Riley: Tell them what?
Me: Winks, knowing that it literally means nothing. Exactly.
I start walking toward the door, out of the conference room.
Me: Hey Riley…
Riley: What, Charlie?
Me: What do you call an alligator that solves crimes?
One of these days I’ll get it right. I might just call the whole month of February a wash, though, because I have a birthday this weekend and a week long trip to Phoenix the week after. After that, who knows? .