Friday, February 19, 2016
What is the amount of crappy things you can handle at one time? We had a very healthy discussion at work yesterday about individual tolerance levels. As much as me and my colleagues try and keep work at the office, it is an extremely lean division, in a lean agency, with expectations by the public that we should be even leaner. Despite that, my coworkers are some of the brightest and hardest working people I've ever worked with. Unfortunately, there is a rising tension in conflicting priorities for programs and budgets, and some unsavory issues that have slowly been coming to the surface, now need immediate attention. It felt like a revolving door of crap from office to office. I popped into one office with another thought on a topic and was met with, "No, can't hear any more. My crap-o-meter is red lining."
E said this with such a straight face, I couldn't help but bust out laughing. Several others joined in the hallway conversation. It seemed many had reached a level of frustration at some situation or another, and were in danger of red lining themselves. We work in a climate that requires complete confidentiality so it is hard to always debrief with someone. We also need to treat certain stakeholders with such kid gloves, it's hard to act as we think we should without ensuring approval from the highest executive.That often moves slow, while the problem starts to build like a snowball. To break the tension for E, we all declared, if no holds were barred, what we would like to do. The ideas went from austere and punitive, to just plain silly. Then, we bounced ideas of each other about what we could do realistically for damage control until a directional decision was made.
E is dealing with several personal issues; elder care, car troubles, and the winter malaise that isn't going away. Indeed, her crap-o-meter had moved as far right as it could go before snapping. I could see the wear in her face and shoulders. I've felt that weight, and it feels, well, crappy. While today is supposed to be my day off, I need to be in the office to continue working on the problem at hand. I'm doing pretty good though; my meter isn't even near orange yet.