While I confess to having had this terribly immature response, you'll be glad to know I didn't dwell on it for long. I've chosen something else to fret over instead, namely, the superstar I hired to be the new Associate Director of Marketing and Communications. Kelly started last month and without question, she's terrific. She's smart, hard working, inquisitive and pleasant to be around. She has a passion for office supplies and to-do lists. I can tell from the tchotchkes on her desk that her family and boyfriend mean the world to her. She's showing signs of a compatible sense of humor. In other words, I think I hired a younger version of myself. Except that I realized after looking at all the photos on her desk that I don't have a single picture of family or friends on mine.
Aside from the photographic reminder of my shortcomings as a mom/wife/friend, things with Kelly look promising.Though I have to say that there have been a couple times I've found
I have very little experience being someone's "boss" and I can't say I was looking forward to it when I was informed that I would be hiring someone to work with me. I'm kinda the lone ranger type. Not "kinda." I'm definitely a lone ranger. Tell me what needs to be done and I'll do it. Don't make me be part of team and don't tell me how to do my job and we'll get along just fine. Given this controlling personality of mine, my biggest concern with working with someone was that I wasn't going to be willing to give up any part of what I consider to be "my" job. That I'd want to hold on tight to everything, or at the very least, give very specific direction on how to get the work done. In other words, I foresaw myself as a micro-manager, the very thing I hate in a supervisor.
The good news is that I haven't found myself doing much of that micromanaging or even withholding of work (heck, there's so much of it and so much that's challenging, that I've been more than happy to hand it off). What I didn't expect, however, is that I'd feel threatened, bordering on jealous. During that meeting in which Kelly was the star of the show, and given her glowing introductions and interactions with faculty and staff, I suddenly realized that I had hired someone who could replace me in the not so distant future. My reaction during that meeting wasn't so much about control (and certainly not about mothering), but rather it was a direct reflection of the threat I felt when I realized if they gave her all the work, I would no longer be needed. Once again, in the span of a few weeks, I've been shown to be replaceable. This is does nothing to boost one's ego.
To add insult to injury, last week I had my first official "Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" at work. It started with a security violation citation for leaving the office door open and the lights on with valuable equipment in the room. On Saturday. When I wasn't here. Four people in my office and I'm the only one with a citation. I hope this doesn't go down on my permanent record (insert "Kiss Off" Violent Femmes music here). The week only improved when I discovered a mailing piece I sent out was half the size I thought it would be (I'd only seen the computer file), AND that there was a major mistake in the title I bestowed upon the professor whom the postcard was for. Totally not my fault, but guilty by association. Then there was the insider information I received that clued me in to another rouge department pursuing a printed publication without me. And did I mention the number of occasions on which I've said too much about certain issues (so unlike me)? Have I told you about the tension that's been building in my office space because no one has the quiet place they need to accomplish their work? The honeymoon is definitely over, but the good news is I've gotten that officially crappy day out of the way and I'm still employed.
Yes, getting older sucks. Learning you're replaceable is a bummer. Knowing someone you hired will eventually be doing your job is threatening. Envying your kids for the opportunities they have that have officially passed you by stinks, too. But on the flip side, getting older means I'm closer to living the dream. Hiring someone amazing means I have a colleague who doesn't frustrate, disappoint or require me to watch over her. And envying my kids means they have a life worth envying, and what more could a parent ask?
Wow. That was so weird. Me looking at the positive side of things. I better stop here before I revert back to my old self.