Hope and Change were the themes in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. And being fairly admin-centric in my thinking, I believe them to be completely applicable to the average day of any admin.
We hope the copier doesn’t crap out. We hope we get to work on time. We hope our executive has enough time between appointments because traffic in the city can be brutal. We hope we are meeting our professional development goals. We hope to complete the project, the letter, the mailing, etc.. on time and on budget. We hope we’re remaining competitive by taking courses or reading the very latest best practices for admins. We hope our boss notices our hard work and conscientious efforts. We hope it is reflected in our paycheck. (smile!)
Companies change all the time. Companies change addresses. Change in supervisors. Change in job responsiblities. Change in deadline dates. Changes requested from our clients, our supervisors, our board members. Change in the direction of the organization. Change in the goals of the organization. Change in the bottom line of the organization. Change for the better in the organization. Change in management styles. Change in management theories. Change in financial practices. Change in tradeshow giveaways. Change in attendance at meetings.
You get the idea.
So.. in the spirit of the recent election of the next President of the United States (POTUS).. know that hope and change are eternal… in our country and in our workplace.
Ever have a client or vendor that made your heart rate jump just by calling you? What is it that triggers that fear? Anxiety? Dread?
For me, I know it is my own issue. As Bonnie Raitt says… “I can’t make you love me..” And, I cannot make these people love, nor like, nor respect me either. Yet, I constantly find myself hoping that this time.. just this time.. things will be different. (It’s like a bad marriage!) I’ll have my work done earlier. I’ll have it proofed by two senior management staff before sending it out. I’ll work over the weekend…. etc.
So, naturally, I need to be professional and mature about these reactions.. even if my client or vendor is not. And, quite honestly, I’m a sensitive person by nature. It’s truly hard for me to understand why another person cannot extend the courtesy of workplace respect. Why are they so bitter or harsh, even when you are helping them?
I had this eye-opening, apple doesn’t fall far from the tree- moment when our nine- year old daughter came home from school with the same sad tale.. a group of girls who just don’t like her.. no matter what. “It is how it is.. but we don’t have to like it”… is what I said to her. I guess I better take some of my own advice!
Back to reviewing the issue of volunteering- this time in the workplace.
I’ve visited this issue before– knowing when to take initiative vs. being taken advantage of.. but I’d like to ponder on it some more.
Ever been asked to help out on a new project team? How were you approached? Was it actually a directive and not an option?
What happens when you volunteer and the workload shifts?
I know that one of the academic institutions I worked for .. “highly encouraged” its administrative staff to be team leaders for a fundraising charity the organization supported.. probably because admins know pretty much everyone in the organization… at least by name if not personally.
Have you ever run into a situation when volunteering- you are asked to ask others to donate their time? Ask superiors to donate money or time? It can be quite awkward.
I think there are some great ideas out there in different workplaces that allow staff to take time to volunteer for an organization the company supports– if the person wants to.. but it is not mandated.
What pro-bono projects does your company support? Are you required to show participation as part of your annual review? As CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) takes hold in corporate America as a best practice- it will be interesting to see if it is impacted by the financial challenges of our current economy. Will these programs be eliminated because they do not support the bottom line? Will companies turn their CSR internally to help their own employees that struggle with financial issues or healthcare costs?
Just some food for thought.