The Reluctant Boss

Work is really getting me down lately. I used to love my work. Going in. Doing my job. Doing it better than anyone I have ever come across. Getting satisfaction from a pleased and surprised client.

Lately I've not been enjoying it. There are two separate issues going on, simultaneously, to make it not the fun place it used to be. Both of which were thrust upon me. Both of which I'd rather not deal with.

The first of which is that one of the founding partners of the company, a person that I have worked with for 20 years, rather abruptly resigned in November. She left while I was away on vacation. That has many ramifications to me. First of all there is a metric crapload of additional paperwork that is required to legally and formally separate her from the company and to decrease the size of the company by 30%. Although it is not a bitter child-custody-battle situation, the moment you get lawyers involved (and they have to be because we are a legal entity) it becomes 10 times more complicated then it really should be. Then throw on top of that the realtors required to cut up the office space (or move), and well, I'm spending an additional hour a day on "paperwork". Second, and most importantly to my mental state, with her departure I now own 50% of our small company and I have become the defacto boss. Though I was always heading in this direction, now that I'm here, I'm not sure that I like the view. Part of me longs for the days when I simply came in and did my job and left 8 hours later. Part of me knows that I would hate that as well.

The second situation that is bringing me down is that a major client is displeased with our work. Very displeased. We have worked with this client for 20 years. They were our first client. They have been very good to us and we have been very good to them. To keep them happy I'm having to spend my days, in my new found boss mode, diffusing the situation. Making our company work as a team to get the work done to the excellent standards that we do all of our work to. Making the client understand that we are doing our best work under the extreme circumstances that they have placed upon us. Getting everything done, telling them when they are wrong, telling them when our team is wrong. All together I'm spending about an extra three to four hours a day at this.

On top of that I have all of my "doing my job" work to get done. Although I have offloaded some of that work to very capable people, I miss that simple pleasure of "doing my job".

What I have finally come to realize is that it all boils down to a deeper, inner problem of mine—dealing with conflict is not something I do well. Never have. These situations are forcing me to deal with conflict. I'm not upset that I have to be the "boss", I'm upset that I have to deal with these conflicts. The situations are forcing me to grow in ways I have avoided for years. In most of my life I have avoided conflicts. I have settled for less than because it is just easier than. I can always see the other side. I can understand why someone did something, therefore I can't get mad at them, even though it hurt me, in even a small way. I've often settled.

I've learned not to settle in a personal relationship. I've, apparently, got to learn it for the rest of my interactions.

When I make it through this, and I hope that it will be soon, I will be a better person than I have ever been. I'm just having trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel at the moment.

Change can be hard…
Growth can be hard…
Life can be hard…
If you fight it.