Friday, May 6, 2011

My Bad - The "Previous" Post

I worked on the Festival-related stuff since, oh, last September or October.  Not continuously, but frequently looking at it from different perspectives, consulting with people involved, and for the most part enjoying the process.  When I take on projects like this, I put in as much brain juice as any paid work. I even got rid of the first version and built the second, current one, and was pleased when Joan was pleased, and relieved when eveything was approved and we were at long last good to go ten days ago. (meanwhile Marlborough Weavers sat on the back burner with some contents turning into yogurt and beyond!) 

A while back, I was given an assistant.  She's a lovely young mom, and one of her jobs makes her a selfless virtuous person.  I've always liked her bright personality, and did I mention she's very pretty? And of course she's another one who is much busier than I am.  I looked forward to working with her.

We communicated smoothly; I liked her ideas, and I felt she knew what I was after.  Then we had some misunderstanding, lack of communication, or a perceived (on my part) problem with the blog 24 hours before going live, and though I was careful with my wording, I tried to explain a few things, and she resigned. In one area, though I thought I was doing the right thing according to our policies and vision, I was being petty and her way might have been better in retrospect. Certainly just as good. 

I can tell you I worked darned hard to build a blog as, if you'll excuse my gross stereotyping, oldie-friendly as possible, taking things out and trying to make it as simple and straight-forward as possible.  (I often repeated my high school English teacher, Mr Wolk's favorite saying: "We like mini-skirts: they cover everything that needs covering, but are short enough to keep you interested.")

I can tell you I was not raised by praises but by reprimands, in school and at home; that I surmised I was doing well by the frequency/infrequency of glares, scolding, and punishments; that such concepts as authority, rules and discipline were the main ingredients of childhood. 

But none of that excuses the way I suspect the Virtuous Lovely Volunteer felt, (we haven't communicated since,) and I feel great empathy about being bombarded with words. (I still dread receiving emails or phone calls from Dad because the news was seldom good, or I don't remember the good, and Dad can be relentless, mean, and, this is where I blush, self-righteous.)

My feelings oscillated from feeling terrible for her and about me; to "grow up, it's not about you or me but about the Festival and the Guild" and back in the last ten days. I also felt bad Joan had to head to this year's Festival in Thames with this hanging in the air.  Now that the framework was done, I even offered to hand it over to someone else entirely.

I felt distraught I stayed off line for a day or two, then staying well away from the Festival stuff, to back on track, and I had to put my big girl pants because one of the potential problems was a password breach, not by her but from elsewhere.   I regretted that in spite of much misgivings, I never clarified, neither with Joan nor with the Virtuous Lovely Volunteer what she understood what was committing herself to.  I doodled a flow-chart, but I thought, hoped, we had a common understanding. 

The situation was solved, in a way, today; I'm doing this solo again.  I'm relieved I don't have to consider other people's feelings.  It's not a big project, it was just a little harder than usual to get going, but now we've gone live, what remains is updates for the next 361 days.

On the other hand, I haven't come to any better understanding of why I find it hard to work with others, nor have I found a happy place between enjoying an experience and doing a good job.  I try not to disrupt harmony, but I don't like "sloppy", and I know I don't suffer fools gladly.  And I've come to not act on my hunches and misgivings because my propensity to tick one thing off the list at a time doesn't seem to go down well in a more unspoken-common-consensus-and-loose-agreement Kiwi, or for that matter, Japanese, way, though strangely it served me well in my office jobs, including those in Japan.  This all makes me cognitively constipated.  

Not matter, I have one fewer misgiving, and thank goodness for looms.


  1. I feel I still need to apologize to her, beyond the lame "I'm sorry you felt that way" email, but she had a good letting off of steam on Facebook, so I think I'll leave it for now. Is that the right thing to do?

  2. Appologies from this side of the hill, there was a whole load of other stuff which had built up over months, I didn't realise how close I was to break-point - until it happened. There are a few other things I am resigning from as well, so I need to thank you for making me realise that I can't do as much as I thought I could - and still be (relatively) sane.

  3. Goodness me, I didn't expect to "see" you here. I'm very sorry to have hurt you anyway. And I honestly think the first post would have looked nicer your way.

    But I also felt so proud to hear you're going for the national qualification for the job. Onwards and upwards, Anne-Marie. That is such a worthy job.

    And your textile creations.


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