Thursday, May 18, 2006
All means ALL
This morning, I got an e-mail from my boss. He wanted to talk. The way it went was, one of the VPs had gone to him with some complaints regarding the current state of our database and the speed with which information was being input and updates were being made. He also complained about the way the new database was set-up and his inability to get anything out the database.
I partially bit my tongue and prayed quickly for wise and sensible words. But, I was more than a tad miffed. See, I had had this conversation with the complaining VP in the past. I'd addressed his problems and questions and thought we agreed that the real problem was his dislike of learning new things and he just had to give it time. Every other issue should then deflate dramatically, as his frustration with the new software decreased.
Apparently, we didn't agree and he really didn't like my answers/solutions. So he went to my boss.
This was the way it was presented to me, anyway. I would find out later, that the motive and tenor of the conversations (from the complaining VPs perspective was quite different).
As I spoke with my boss, fielded his questions and responded to the criticism related to me a door opened. It was a door I had been waiting to open for quite some time and now was the time for me to walk through.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the firm decided to lessen its overhead and (frankly)drop some "dead weight" among the personnel. Two of those cuts were our Graphics Director and my assistant. But, while their respective layoffs were justified and reasonable, it created a vacuum...and all of their stuff was sucked my way.
Before Katrina, I was already carrying more than my share. My assistants ability to assist me was limited and I had also assumed many of the things which were previously done for our department by the Graphics Director simply because it was easier, less time consuming and I knew that way I'd get what I really wanted. Since Katrina, I've been left with no one to delegate anything to and have had to pick up all of the things which our Graphics Director was doing. A great many of those things are going on all at the same time as we need to replace so many things...website updates, letterhead, business cards, conference displays, promotional items, as well as personal graphics and publishing things for the executive of our company. All the while, my deadlines have not stopped. As they say...I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger...whatever that means.
Everyone is going above and beyond...I realize that. But, everyone else who is responsible for running a department has someone to delegate to and to help them. I AM my department and I have no one.
So...with all of this in my head and fresh criticism in my lap I sat before my boss and thanked the Lord for what He was about to provide. I'd been waiting for the right time to discuss my needs with my boss and prayed I could do so without complaining or demanding and also in such a way that he would accurately see the need and urgency.
This was that time.
I left the office, still a bit miffed with my co-worker for "going over my head" but could see that I actually needed to thank him for providing me the opportunity to discuss my situation with my boss in such a way. A conversation which resulted in my being promised a summer intern to help until such a time as we can actually hire someone.
So I did just that. I went into him and basically thanked him for complaining about me.
I didn't say it that way, though.
His take on his conversation with my boss was quite different. He said that his motive for discussing these things with my boss was to highlight my need for help and to recommend that I be given responsibility for coordinating and unifying all of our marketing efforts in all of our offices because I do such a good job.
Whatever the truth or reality...the Lord used what appeared to be a bad thing (i.e., someone complaining about the way I do my job) to extend care, meet a need and lead my boss and this VP to have favor on me.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
All means ALL.