This week was my week back at work (properly) after Christmas and New Year; I don’t think i’ve ever felt so unprepared for anything in my life, except for my theory test that i’ve failed 6 times and counting…
From 7.04 am on Monday 06th January I felt reluctance. It started with the unwillingness to leave my irrevocably cosy, warm bed and make my coffee. But I powered through, and got up. As I walked eight steps to my kitchen, I tried to prepare myself for the day, in retrospect, nothing could have prepared me for the week, never mind the day.
It’s 8.28 am, I’m at work, logging on. I say good morning to my colleague with whom I share the office with and hang my coat up before sitting down and waiting for Windows to load. My colleague is good, I like her, which is a rarity in itself, I tend not to ‘gel’ with lots of people, I’m very introverted with a marmite personality; but I enjoy working with her and she doesn’t bother me for intellectual conversations until at least 9.30 am which allows me plenty of time to properly wake up, (she’s probably aware she’ll just get a grunt if she doesn’t wait). We exchange niceties regarding new year and christmas but both of us know we don’t need to do this, but we enjoy talking to one another, so it’s cool. My emails finally load and bearing in mind i’ve had my out of office on no more than 5 days, there are 87 emails. Eighty Seven. Wonderful. Great stuff. And just like that, you’re tossed straight back in to it all, no stabilizers just BAM!
With all this being said, I enjoy what I do for work, luckily. I provide credible, legal, fair advice and guidance to managers relating to all employee matters i.e. Disciplinaries, Grievances, Performance and Attendance Management. It’s all kinds of weird and wonderful; But in other perspectives i’m the Grim Reaper.
Perception is defined as the way you notice something, the ability to become aware of something, using all senses available.
Usually when people ask what you do for work, they share how interesting it must be to work in that particular field, or you’ll get a nice ‘wow, how exciting!’ or when I was cabin crew, working at British Airways, I always got a lovely ‘Omg I always wanted to do that!!’ I get none of that now. Not with this job. Nope. It starts with the ‘look’ which in essence translates to, ‘Oh you’re one of them..’ finished off with an incredibly passive ‘oh riiightt.’
For me, it’s strange to have a great deal of people openly tell me how many negative interactions they’ve had with someone within Human Resources. Often, it’s hard for me to hear too, because it seems these HR ‘professionals’ that the majority of you have had many an interaction with, are power hungry crazies with no sense of decency. Which pains me immensely.
I do my job because I want to help people. I want people to come to work and enjoy being in that environment. Majority of us work hard, and we want to progress and do a good job, and seen as though we spend more time at work then we do at home most weeks, why wouldn’t we want to work somewhere we feel valued and cared for? Most companies I work for, have the right support : consequences (for lack of a better word) ratio. However, I have worked in organisations before where the employer is not willing to support the employee first and this is not something I can morally sit by and just allow. Long story short, I left a company after being asked to dismiss an employee, when I didn’t feel that adequate support for the individual had been put in place. (Seee, we’re not all bad!)
So this week at work I was hit with a few curve balls that I did not anticipate. Some I took quite personally, and some I let roll like water off a duck’s back. This being said, the self critical gal that I am, I spent the majority of Friday night drinking my large glass of Malbec thinking about perception. How i’m perceived as an individual, and how others may perceive my emails or mannerisms. I came to the realisation that you will not be everyone’s idea of perfect and you won’t be able to please everyone – I’ve learnt this outside of work, but I guess it hadn’t dawned on me that I’d not be able to please everyone in the workplace. I assumed if I built good relationships and worked exceptionally hard then i’d always be able to please people. (I now know, this is not the case, and i’m okay with that!)
This does not mean that you should turn in to an indecent power hungry crazy person at work, not for me anyway. It does mean that I need to think about the perception before sending that pretty blunt email, or be more mindful of how other people might be managing.
Let’s just say, you never ever stop learning right!? I did receive a cute little certificate this week that celebrated some great feedback i’ve had recently, which dare I say it, puts things into perspective!
If it was your first week back this week too, I hope it was full of exciting emails and eye opening wonders, and if you’re one of the many that have worked over christmas, thank you for your contribution and I hope you get some time to relax now – i’ve been there too!
Lots of Love, Lily. xo