Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Working Out, and Working Things Out at Work

Just got back from the "rec." center. Man, was it crowded. New Year’s resolutions, perhaps? For me, just want to get things back under control after a lot of holiday “grazing” and two weeks without exercising.

Turns out a couple of my coworkers are also planning to hit the gym more regularly, so we put a “workout chart” on our office white-board for a touch of accountability, taking the liberty of adding the other two members of our team to the list so it tracks all five of us. “If you work out at least three times a week, you get a piece of chocolate,” says K., “Because we want to make sure you don’t get too far ahead!”

K. is an odd character. He says his dream jobs are cult leader or warlord. He works pretty hard to maintain his reputation as a “bad boy,” which I sometimes find annoying. He likes to make speeches and can come across as kind of patronizing, though he hasn’t done this much in recent months.

He’s also a good friend. Usually happy to listen, and always ready to help - really goes the extra mile. He's not "nice" (see above) but he's kind and compassionate. He’s fairly brilliant, and good at recognizing and solving problems. And yes, he keeps the group supplied with chocolate, maintaining a constant supply of the good stuff from Trader Joe’s and dispensing it generously. Oh, and did I mention that he’s my boss? So it's important to me that we work well together, and usually we do. K. has done a lot to help me to both more satisfied and more effective in my work, and I deeply appreciate it.

While I’m writing about work (a very questionable practice among bloggers, but hey, I’ve always been a risk-taker!) maybe I should mention that we’ve had another personnel change at the office. Anita, the office manager, resigned. This is our second resignation in the AD months (After the Death of CP; the first was Les, the marketing guy). So there are now 11 of us, plus a couple of folks who volunteer or help out long-distance.

I think Anita's decision is a good one. But I wonder how it will affect of us, afraid it may further our fragmentation. Now we will have nobody in the office who sees it as their job to bridge across the three groups and provide overall leadership or office management. This may turn out for the best. Maybe we can – I can – let go of expectations that we should be working “together” (we’re not). Or maybe – dare I hope? people will step up to fill the gap in whichever ways seem to be most important... I'd love to see us praying together more, and with greater, well, unity, but maybe it's never going to be like CP. The sense of common purpose, trust, and "teamiosity" aren't really there. Not that they were always there in the past, but the lean times haven't made things better.

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