Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Problem solving

I have finally reached a point with The Problem past which I am unwilling to go. A member of the executive team for my company was in town yesterday, and we discussed the state of things; we talked with The Problem and made sure she understood what was expected of her, and confirmed that she and I are on track with one another. She nodded her head all snappy, and was bright and shiny; she said all the right things, pulled all the right facial expressions. Her body language and her tone of voice, as well as what she said, all suggested she understood fully how things were expected to go. She committed to doing what I wanted of her, of behaving appropriately, and conducting herself in a manner that was consistent with what a manager would expect of a person who is directly representing said manager. I was pleased, practically giddy, that things were going so well. Finally, I could take a deep breath and let it all the way out; I could relax, things were going to get back on track and we could all return to our normal business of taking care of business.

In an unrelated situation, The Problem has a Friend in the office, with whom she is very chatty (bordering on gossipy); The Problem is constantly telling The Friend things she shouldn't, involving The Friend in situations that she shouldn't be involved in. The Problem has been in trouble for this, and recently came to me to tell me about a situation in which The Friend and another staff member were gossiping about others. I pulled the ladies aside yesterday and told them to knock it off. That's when I find out their version of the "gossip", which differs significantly from the version The Problem gave me. At this point, I mostly just want to scream.

Then I find out that The Problem left the meeting with me and my manager and went straight to The Friend and unloaded everything we had just talked about. Right after she tattled to me about this supposed gossiping The Friend was engaged in. Is this starting to sound like a bad soap opera to anyone else?

This morning, during an unusually long shower before work, I decided to fire The Problem. Showers are a terrific time for me to sort out a lot of my office problems. It's relaxing, and I seem to have a lot of clarity during that time. I feel like I make my best decisions in the shower.

I feel a lot better now. I took the morning off and ran a few errands with Mr. Jade; I cleaned my apartment and smudged, removing so much negativity from myself. I'll head back to the office later this afternoon and conduct the exit interview and go about my day.

I have been reading Ajahn Brahm, a Buddhist monk who tells the very best stories in his book Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?; one of the things I am learning is letting go. Of fear, of worry, of trepidation. I have thought out my problem, attempted various methods of solving it, and have made a decision. Now I am working on letting go. I am not going to worry about this termination interview; I already know it's going to happen, and I need not choose a path of suffering over that decision. After coming to this realization, I feel terrific. I am able to enjoy my afternoon off before a potentially unpleasant meeting. My work load may increase temporarily and things will have to change in the office due to the nature of what The Problem does each day, but that's okay. For today, right this minute, I do not have to worry about that. I choose to let go of dread.

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