Okay, so I couldn’t write a fifth consecutive blog title full of alliteration. I tried, but I just couldn’t find the “f” word that described my Friday accurately. Yeah, I know there’s that “f” word, but that wasn’t quite right. Not that it wouldn’t have described at least a good portion of my day. Just not all.
It was one of those days where it seems like the only thing you’re doing is trying to put out fires. Or in my case, fight the same fire pretty much all day long. I don’t need to go into specifics about this particular fire; it’s enough to say it was a clash of personalities and opinions. (But then again, aren’t they all?) It was my job to “manage” all the expectations. In this technologically savvy world, that required using a combination of email, phone and instant messaging because two-thirds of those involved were not in the same office with me. Of course, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because it likely prevented a heated argument and some “in-the-moment” comments that could have caused hard feelings and morale issues.
What it meant though, was that I had 8 different emails open at one point trying to keep track/make sense of how everyone was perceiving the problem. My head was literally swirling trying to determine who said what. (The “swirling,” I realized after I got home from work, could also have been because I hadn’t peed once all day long.) Early on, I almost resigned myself to the possibility that we wouldn’t find an immediate solution. It was discouraging. I decided to just keep talking (via email, Skype, phone) with all parties involved. Will it work if we do this? I know we can’t do that, but how about if we try it this way?
Guess what happened? Everyone found things they could do to make at least part of the project work. It might not have been what we hoped for when the day began, but we salvaged a lot of the project in a fairly timely manner. When the day (and the problem) began, I was sure the personalities were going to require some serious first-aid once we got past the immediate hurdle to be able to continue the good work we’ve been doing. But the collaboration they showed has convinced me nothing more than a Band-aid or two may be necessary.
I’m still glad the weekend is here. But I’m also excited to see what next week holds. And more confident that the next “f” word I use to describe work will be “fantastic.”