Still all over the place at work and on total countdown until my holiday.
A colleague friend told me today that he’d ended up in a conversation with my boss and I’d become the subject of discussion. The boss thinks I’m too hard on myself. Possibly true but the projects I work on I want to be as good as they can be. When you are pulled in a hundred different directions, fundamentally under supported and left feeling perpetually overworked, it’s inevitable that I’m going to go downhill.
Since the figures started to slide, we now have compulsory business development meetings from 5.30pm – 7pm one night a week. This, when you’re already working long hours. This evening’s session, what should have been a ‘check in’ and catch up between the people that go (we had an especially low turnout which is not good), turned into an emotional tirade against the deputy CEO who runs it. Tempers were so frayed at one point that one senior female colleague basically broke down as she ranted about how little support she was getting. Another very senior male colleague railed, in essence, against the strategy (or non-strategy and de facto failings of the leadership team) and this also got quite ugly. The whole session was very emotionally draining. And a young female colleague who has turned into something of a nemesis of mine (I’m convinced she wants my job), who flanked the DCEO, appeared weak and out of her depth – hardly saying a word. There are fundamental problems with the company but decades of continued growth and high profits (until now) have masked the malaise.
Emotion sums up the organisation. As I have said on other occasions – it’s a bit like John Grisham’s ‘The Firm’. It’s like one of those big Italian, Jewish or Indian families (with all that entails) more so than a ‘normal’ or corporate business. So it isn’t, per se, political. Instead it is extremely emotional. There are patriarchs, matriarchs, inner, middle and outer circles of staff. It’s quite strange. To me this makes it so different to anywhere else I’ve worked before. Very low staff turnover for decades (at least thus far, though I’m sure this will change), so little new blood means there is a level of intensity and familiarity that I don’t think suits the modern workplace. I for one really struggle with the level of emotion that exists.