Uh Oh … I am Becoming One of Those

“In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.”
Oscar Wilde

I am watching my peers retire. Last Friday, I attended another retirement party for a staff member I have known for many years. I loved working with her. She understood me. Our shared history enabled us to communicate easily and with few words. What bliss.

On Monday, I met with her replacement to complete a simple task. Twenty minutes into the convoluted conversation I decided to do the task all by myself, while assuring the new person that all was well. All was well? Sheesh. All was not well!

I believe this is my tipping point year. The year in which the majority of people in my sphere are so much younger than me that I could be their mother. Their energy and ideas are wonderful. Their questions and need for mentoring are exhausting.

I love to be a mentor but with so many baby boomers retiring, mentoring is taking up more and more of my time. The questions never cease.

  • “Where can I find…?”
  • “Who do I talk to about …?”
  • “How do I …?”
  • “What if …?”
  • “What would you do …?”

Each day I answer the phone, emails and people who walk into my office. I am constantly explaining the job in words, demonstrations and even pictures. At night I go home in stunned silence because I have talked and typed at a rat-a-tat rate that is mind numbing.

So now it is time to be careful. Careful with my words, actions and deeds or I will become one of those crotchety mature employees who thinks everyone deserves a piece of their mind.

Why do I need to be careful? Well, I slipped last week and fired off an email that I typically would not have sent. I believe phone or face to face conversations are best when you are upset. But I typed and sent the email (ccing many people) anyway.

In my defense, I made sure there were no bold, italicized or underlined words in the message. But as soon as I hit the send button I knew there would be repercussions. Repercussions mean more time, more words, more explaining. Just what I am trying to avoid.

With experience comes responsibility. I love responsibility but I need to figure out how to do my job while maintaining my sanity. Seems I need to take better care of myself and stop enabling the masses. And if that doesn’t work? I could always dye my hair red and star in my very own sitcom.

“Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!” ~ Ricky Ricardo

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18 thoughts on “Uh Oh … I am Becoming One of Those”

  1. I’m sure it was justified. Take a breath and let it go. There should be a way to retrieve those darn things within a reasonable window of time. Maybe we should invent a retrieving thingie. LOL

    1. Thanks! It was justified but unfortunately the boss who deserved a piece of my mind retired two months ago and yet his minions keep following his orders ;). Okay, I took a breath now and will return to my happy place where everything is rainbows and lollipops.

  2. In Outlook there is a “retrieving thingie” — open the document you just sent, click on “Actions” and click on “Recall this Message.” Or so I hear. I have never actually, personally, you know, like, needed to actually use it because I spoke too soon or sent an email to the wrong person or anything. Really. Trust me.

    PW, I think maybe you need a second blog, one for work instructions. The good thing is that youngins know how to use them. The other good thing is that you won’t resort to murder.

    1. Ha! I have used the retrieve sent message thingie before but these young people are so connected to their email and handhelds that I can never remember how to do it before they pick up the message. Alas, maybe I should go purchase a purple hat. I know how to do that.

  3. I have a new subordinate that will probably take my place when I retire. On her second day, i asked her how she was doing with the work I had given her – and she said, “it’s fine. It’s just busy work.”

  4. Well, it is an interesting time of life, isn’t it? I, too, have noticed there are more and more people I work with who could be my daughter/son. But so far, I’m holding up pretty well. I often make it a point to say that I will try to not mother the young people I work with…which I sometimes find myself doing anyway, despite my best intentions. The biggest thing I want to avoid is becoming biased, against younger people, and for my own generation. Both have good to share, and if the young ones have a lot to learn, well, I remind myself that I was in that place once too! Still, there are moments of frustration, and I get that too. Good luck with finding/keeping your balance! ~ Sheila

    1. I absolutely agree. The young bring energy and ideas and, well more energy. They also have a fresh perspective, wonderful ideas and their own experience. Usually I am so positive but the retirements are hitting me hard. I have returned to my patient, happy place and will continue to mentor until I retire, whenever that will be.

      1. You know, I don’t really see myself “retiring.” My husband and I are crafting a life of part-time work, so we work in block time, then have block time to travel or hang out at home. I like it better than part time every day. You lose standard corporate benefits, but the freedom and flexibility are well worth the tradeoff!

        Glad you’re feeling better about the changes in your work environment! ~ Sheila

    1. Wow, you are so gracious! I really do love working with the old, the young and the in between. I just sometimes get tired. I have been hit hard with retirements and, I must admit, morale. I am a public employee in a state where it seems public employees have been under attack.

      I am in awe of my young coworkers who are just starting their profession in the public sector. They are true heroes in my eyes.

  5. I’ve learned a new technique for those exasperated moments when I want to fire off such an email: I write it as a draft, don’t list anyone in the “to” column and write everything I want to say (within reason). I save it and return to it … and if I’m still fired up about it, I edit it again .. and save it again.

    Sometimes it will end up going out, but, most of the time, it’s my secret outlet for the stupidity I often find myself surrounded by!

    Hugs
    MJ

    1. Thanks MJ. Luckily my email was short and sweet with nothing personal. Still knew I shouldn’t have sent it. I usually have more impulse control that I exhibited on that day. Love your idea and very wise to not list anyone in the “to” column.

Thoughts??

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