A Case of the Mondays

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“What are you doing?”

“Cleaning. If I don’t clean this space now, I won’t get to it for awhile.”

I had a co-worker leave on Friday. After putting in his two weeks and serving them with a smile, he left Friday never to walk into the office again. I didn’t know him too well; he didn’t know me too well either. Perhaps we could both feel that his term, in the office, was going to be temporary? Either way, he left, ready to start a new adventure.

My co-workers old space

I got thinking, what would you do, Bryan, if you could do anything? If money wasn’t an object, what would you do? The longer I work in my office, the harder those questions are becoming to answer. I know that I want to make more money. That I want to feel more engaged throughout my work day. I get tired of working in a role that is 75% administrative assistant and 25% office manager.

Stayed up late thinking I was almost done with a game. I ended up playing through the climax and resolution to the game’s story. Only to find out that there was another chapter to the story… saying goodbye to the cast of characters. I decided it would be best to go to bed about then.

Just as the adoption path has been silent, so has my search for a new line of work. I was driving back to work from lunch the other day, and I saw a sign that advertised x-amount of money for working on an assembly line at a local business. For a moment, I considered that job. It paid more than what I currently make per hour. But then you start to think about vacation time, having to work weekends, general hours, and one starts to talk themselves out of such things.

I know that God has me where I am for a reason. That He has grown me, changed me, and molded me into a totally different person than I was when I first started working here. In the twelve years I’ve worked here, I’ve become:

  • A dad
  • A homeowner
  • A Sunday school teacher
  • A deacon
  • A father waiting to become a father again, through adoption

The time that I have worked here, in this office, has not been wasted. I feel like God has been teaching me to find my fulfillment in Him, not in my job title or what I do 7 days a week. But I wonder what else there is… I wonder what other challenges await. I wonder how far we’ll have to go–will we have to move?–to find such prospects. I want to work again in a place where I am friends with my co-workers. If anything, the Coronavirus has shown me how alone I feel at work.

I am ready for something new.

Time for some more coffee.

Q: When was the last time you stayed up late trying to finish a book, movie, or game? Was it worth it? 🙂

The Electrical Panel

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A few weeks ago, we had an air conditioning company do some work in the office. While fixing a circuit breaker, they forgot to put the electrical panel back on the box. Instead of letting me put the two screws in, that hold the panel in place, I was told to call the company back out. I was mortified.

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

The technician the company sent out was 115% understanding. Took him less than a few minutes to put the panel back together.

I get the principal of holding a company to their work… but I wonder where the line of entitlement and laziness meet. Maybe I’m too practical? Either way, I say screw it.

Be Prepared: Bring Your Own Laptop

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A few weeks ago, a potential consultant dropped by the office wanting to introduce himself and his work.

Him: “Good morning. I’m so-and-so. I have a meeting with so-and-so. Do you have something I can plug into the TV and access Dropbox with? I want to be able to show my work.”

Me: “Sure. I’ll be able to help you with that.”

My boss came into the conference room at this point, shut the door, and started the meeting. I went back to my desk and proceeded to unplug my laptop for this person to use. Figured I could sacrifice an hour of not working, right? As I was about to unplug my first cable, I thought, “Why should I give up my laptop when this person is clearly not prepared for this meeting?” So, I did nothing.

The meeting moved along and there was no further mention of needing a device to look at work samples.

Side Note: I work in a visual profession. Not bringing visual items to look over = a massive mistake.

Got me thinking that when you come for a meeting, you need to be prepared. You need to bring your own device to showcase your own work; need to bring work that makes you look amazing. Being prepared puts a spotlight on the fact that you value the other person’s time and understand what is needed to put your best foot forward.

Scar, in the Lion King, sang it best, “Be prepared!”

Trapped Between Planners and Freedom

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I am not a planner. I think of myself as a spur-of-the-moment, let’s go do something, sort of guy. But I lie to myself.

My wife is an amazing planner; my son thrives in knowing what is going to happen next. Their planning tendencies can often drive me nuts. I just want to be in the moment. Feel the waves. Again, I lie.

My dark secret: I usually have a pretty good idea of what I want to do for the day.

Do you find comfort in routine? I do. Knowing on some foundational level what I’m going to be doing throughout the day is like a cozy heavy jacket. Knowing that I’ll start my day:

  • Drinking coffee
  • Reading a morning devotional
  • Eating breakfast
  • Taking a shower
  • And finishing getting ready

The above minuscule routine can be bliss.

Working as an office manager for an architectural firm, I have little routine. I walk in, most days, not knowing what to except. One week, we could be working on a marketing brochure; the next week, we might be working on a slew of projects on a daily basis. There is no base level routine. Which leaves me on edge.

The sky is the limit.

Sure, I could come into work early, try and establish my own routine. The problem with this solution is that the moment I walk in the door, I am fair game to whomever needs my help. The needs of the firm and all that.

Planning equals paralysis.

Whenever my wife asks me a question about some upcoming event, I mentally freeze up. Something inside just doesn’t want to commit. I want to be free. Screaming with Mel Gibson’s William Wallace, “Freedom!!!” But freedom from what?

Deep down, beyond my deer in the headlight stare I give when asked a planning question, I am a planner. I crave routine. Or at least I crave structure. Give me a solid structural foundation and you can throw anything at me. Anything.

I need to know that my footing is sure. That even as all hell is breaking loose, there is the promise of routine to fall back into.

I feel trapped by those who feel the need to plan and yet, I am a planner. Go figure.