Wednesday 28th June 2017

People who have known me a long time know just how anxious I used to get about things.  I’m a lot better than I was (a LOT better as this edition will point out) but I can still get myself in a panic over the smallest of things.
And then there are days like today.
Without going into details, an edict was sent from senior people at the day job relating to an incident external to the company.  It’s meant a lot of people have had to do things in a short amount of time.
The problem is that it’s resulted in headless chicken syndrome.  The senior people want a large number of hours of resource thrown at a problem.  However, that large number of hours isn’t available.  As a result, people on the front lines are in panic and stressed and not sure what to do because no-one is issuing them guidance.
Now, I’m in a fortunate position.  As far as the day job goes, this is the perfect storm for me.  It’s like someone saying they needed a storm chasing, sword fighting, fantasy author.  I was born for this.
And so, first and foremostly, I’m not running around like a headless chicken because I’m fortunate enough to have played to my strengths over the years to ensure that if this day ever came, my department wouldn’t have to stress.  We’ve got it covered.
But instead of acting all smug (OK, so I was a little smug) I’ve been trying to be practical.  Stuff needs to be done and management are panicking and expecting people to magic resource out of nothing.
So I come along and actually try to help by using my common sense.  We can’t do everything, so let’s be smart about what we do.
And I find myself in the middle of this storm of panic from senior management down to guys on the front line, centred, calm and in control.
This isn’t like me, people.
I am wondering… how did I get to this stage?  Since when did I become the voice of common sense.  When did I find loads of people turning to me to help them because I’m actually offering a sensible way out of a mess, that quite frankly, is largely over nothing.
In other news, I’ve now got my swordfighting instructor insurance.  I’ve been instructing for some time now but always with another instructor there, and whilst instructing isn’t something I attach status to, I do find it bizarre that I’m now an insured martial arts instructor.  How did that happen?
Now, being the person leading people out of the day job mess with support and encouragement, or the person helping people grow as fighters probably aren’t going to rank high on my list of personal achievements.  But I do take some pride in it.
And how did I get here?  Quite simply,  I knuckled down and worked away.  With the day job, I took a little bit of knowledge and used it to deliver results for the company.
Whilst (and this used to be a real bone of contention) I would never be recognised with further responsibility / promotion for the work I did, those who worked with me knew that our department’s good reputation was in part down to my work and the customer’s appreciation of it.
I’m not sure if I’m a good instructor or not.  In some ways possibly not, because what I try to train, isn’t a technique so much as the ability for students to analyse and train themselves.  But I think that’s more selfless and as a result, I think it helps them more.  So in that aspect, perhaps I’m good.  Again, like the day job, I don’t need the recognition.  The reason I instruct is simply because there’s no better way to train your fundamentals than explain it to another person.
Whilst the senior people in swordfighting appreciate what I do (and are great support), I get the impression I’m a pain in the side of the day job.  This is because they want a report that looks good.  I want the reality to look good.  Ordinarily they should be one and the same, but too often a reply answers the wrong questions.  I’ve always made a point of not giving the customer what they ask for, but what they want.  And sometimes that’s not so neat but it’s more reassuring because it’s the truth.
When I see these tragedies caused by loopholes and corporations unwilling to do more than making a report look good, I think it’s no wonder why we’re often in a mess.  The truth has to be packaged and presented so it cannot be criticised.  I’m not against capitalism, in fact I’m often for it (so long as it doesn’t stamp on the less fortunate), but I do hate that we have a culture of brushing things under the carpet, or going into a mad panic because it might make something look less than 100%
Perhaps the answer in all of this is that I’m interested in the journey, whereas too many people want to have reached the destination already.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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