Feb. 26th, 2017

flexagon: (putt putt putt)
Most of my thoughts lately have been about work. I took a class a week ago that basically hit me like a truck, about managing larger teams and how managing a 15-person team or bigger is fundamentally different from managing a 5-person one. It was useful, and actionable, and deadly depressing. I've been getting more unhappy feedback from people who report to me in the last year than I ever have before, always been one person at a time, and the class pounded into my head that in some ways that's working as intended. The group is now too large to lead purely by consensus, and that means somebody will be unhappy with nearly every decision I make. There will also always be somebody unhappy enough to affect the group, just because life. (And, apparently, someone always out on baby leave -- my reports are nothing if not fertile.)

The class had good advice: deal with the reality that your job is not what it once was; learn new skills; stop having a standup status meeting with way too many people trying to go around the room; don't succumb to the temptation to regress to what you're good at, or to fill all the gaps in your team with yourself. (cough. I totally do that.) But damn it, I'm still reeling from the realization that my team is never all going to like me anymore. To be clear, I'm no fragile flower; I've been disliked plenty and I can deal with it pretty well in general, but, sigh... it was so nice to be the non-asshole manager for a while. Must those days really be over, so soon, and just when things were otherwise going well? I'm not sure I want to move forward in this direction.

Then there's the creeping burnout. This is easier to deal with -- I mostly need vacation, or at least more disconnected time. I've been doing work, sometimes tiny bits of work, on both weekend days for a while now. So guess what I just did? I went over to my work window and requested next Friday off. Yeah. And two days for my birthday while I was at it.

On this note, birthday. It's coming up, it's my 40th, I probably ought to do something to celebrate. Nothing felt right, until last Friday when I started asking myself if I had any childhood dreams left unattended to. A lightbulb went off: of course! I need to go to hang gliding camp! Probably this one, a weekend thing in New Hampshire, though it would be rather wonderful to work toward a Hang 1 certification. I can do a fancy view-of-Boston-skyline dinner on the day of, but the gliding will be the real celebration. :D


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