Friday, December 08, 2006

work :: ups and downs

I try not to talk about my work... but lately I have felt overwhelmed by what I have to do. Swamped. Inadequate. Incapable. Not smiling as much as I usually do (see above). The last few days have been some of the worst of my life. The pressure is getting to me. I still feel the role is new to me... even though I have been in it for about 6 months or so.

I lead a team of business designers - our job is to shape the product according to the requirements of the "business" we represent. Its hard. I have never managed a team before... and my project experience has always been direct... hands-on... focussed! Now I need to be aware of what's going on... have a breadth of knowledge... defend our position continually from people who, maybe justifiably, want to shape the product to their view... their requirements... instead of the "business" and the customers they represent.

As I said above... I have never managed a team before and I believe, from the feedback I received at a recent appraisal, that I have taken a group of talented individuals and built a great team... a dream team... I enjoy their company and we do a good job. We get it done.

So why are things getting me down? Well... Last month one of the team moved to another team on the project. 1 person down... more work. Could handle it... I suppose.

Until now...

This week I have been interviewed by an auditor... had my team's work challenged... presented the product prototype to our design forum... and senior management. Been undermined. Oh and an invaluable member of my team is leaving at the end of the month... because of... well, I'd prefer not to say other than neither of us had any control in the matter.

Where am I going with this pretty personal post? (nice ilteration)

Well in all this I have been thinking about this old fashioned painting in the Salvation Army corps in Port Glasgow:

I can't do this on my own... I need my team... but it is more than that. I need the Shepherd... I need His goodness and mercy... as I walk, metaphorically, in some pretty dark places... I don't fear because I know He is with me... I know that He cares!

Life isn't meant to be easy :: just as Mrs Pitt's tat says :: What doesn't kill me makes me stronger! I know the love that surrounds me. My Lord loves me... Olly and the kids love me...and keep me together. My family love me... and my friends love me. You guys in the Nanolog community love me. I am surrounded by this love and it is appreciated ... welcomed... needed!

Where do I go from here? Who knows. How can I replace someone I consider to be invaluable? I need to try... and do it soon. I also need to focus on now... stop dreaming about where I want to be... what I want to do... and centre myself of what I do and where I am now.

The Nanolog is about the whole of me... and I need to realise that my work... what I do now... is part of me, too.

So here's to now! With all its ups and downs... its pleasures and heartbreaks. Here's to being exactly where I am meant to be today.

Sorry for the personal nature of this post... please keep me in your thoughts and prayers... and please work don't sack me for talking about you!


John said...

Great post Thomas. It's beneficial to Pastors when we see the pressure that's on the congregant's and not the other way round. It helps us to pray harder and to be more understanding of their lives. Thanks for your honesty and humility, and our prayers are with you. Psalm 23.

Be encouraged.

Anonymous said...

Time to get out the whip and crack it, alternatively you could always do the reverse and whip the crack. I find the latter a more sustainable method of management - and gets better results quicker. Hope this advice is suitable from your wee cousin who worketh in a cut throat environment.

Them that taketh away are very often taken away themselves and are never seen again. Proverbs 76v2 - I find this verse most helpful because I made it up myself. Hope this comment cheers you up man - Santa's a coming!

Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for sharing about ALL of you and your struggles, ups and downs! it is totally appropriate and NO need to ever apologize! That's what community is for, whether in person or virtual. You will be in my prayers and this kind of info helps me know haw to pray for you. i love you and appreciate you. Take care and keep us posted! Adele/EP

caldjr said...

Don't apologise for making such a personal post Thomas. This blog is all about who you are so I appreciate you sharing so personally. It helps in our prayers for you. Work can be tough. It doesn't even matter whether you work in a Christian setting or totally the opposite - the pressures are still the same. Just been going through some back emails I haven't had time to read and in one devotional it says this:
The psalmist wrote that God’s Word was a lamp to his feet and a light to his path. And in the mind of the Israelite, God’s Word was something to be obeyed. As I obey God’s Word where I stand today, His Word will give direction for the next move I should make. In other words, there is no need to see a quarter-mile down life’s path if I am not going to obey and take the one step God has made clear where I stand. If you are seeking direction for your life, obey what God has shown you today. Do that one day at a time and, looking back, you’ll realize the entire way has been illuminated.

Obedience is not a matter of seeing the whole path, only the next step. Obedience increases seeing.

Thought that might help.


Oh, btw, all being well, look forward to meeting you tomorrow at SNAC!

Jonathan Blundell said...

Thanks for the post. Don't let "the man" get you down.
Work can be a struggle but this too will pass.
Carry on and remember that sign always.


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