A light overview .... There were two situations going on which were rough. One didn't involve me directly, but the ripples impacted on everyone in the office. It was ongoing for about three weeks, had everyone on edge because of the unprofessional actions of one person. This was punctuated with the death of a coworker.
Fortunately, that seems to be healing now with the absence (permanent) of that person, and general balance appears to be coming into the workplace again. There will still need to be some healing time for those closer to the core of all that, but hopefully it will come.
The second situation absolutely included me. I was under attack by one person who had called into question my professional decisions and actions, and who has chipped away like an ice carver with making a statue out of an iceberg! It was over petty things, but she hammered and hammered on them until I thought my head would explode. My decisions and actions were sanctioned by the administrator, but even that didn't resolve the issues. No solution passed muster with her. And of course, she did all this with the sweetest smile on her face and an "I just don't understand" about everything.
I have an open door policy. I invite anyone to talk with me about differences, things not understood, suggestions, etc. Repeated offers to sit down and work it out were ignored, but more than once a blind-side attack occurred, including mentions of how "others" felt about my method of leadership. Those "others" were never named; hinted at issues were never clearly voiced. I felt that I was fighting against an unknown, and indeed I was.
I do things differently than my predecessor. But I've been careful to stay within appropriate guidelines. I've been a Social Worker too long to not recognize that change is difficult for some folks. It's damn near impossible for a few! But I am who I am, and while I try to be a true "team player," my style is to simplify, streamline, and remove as many stumbling blocks as possible. In doing that, I cause change, and even if it is simpler, some will push against it.
I frequently doubted myself during the past few weeks. Seriously, it became that strong. Coworkers and the administrator assured me that I was doing right, doing well, but you know how the chipping away can be. It undermines even the most capable after a period of time.
Today, it ended. Or I think and hope so. The administrator came to the meeting to sit in, to listen, to answer questions, and ultimately to say this is the end.The meeting ended on a high note, with the administrator and me talking about this putting misunderstandings and confusion behind us and looking forward to updating our guidelines as discussed (we found several outdated items in the policies and procedures). And when my antagonist raised (for the umpteenth time) her "concerns," I was able to point out that the issue had already been discussed and resolved.
Would you believe this person is a volunteer? I work hard to make volunteers feel appreciated and valued, treated professionally, etc. This was very difficult for me. I've felt she didn't like me; I learned in the last couple weeks that she was strongly attached to the previous coordinator, so it would make sense. Anyway, I'm so glad to have the administrator's support and the support of the rest of the volunteers. Well, a couple others are debatable, but they at least voiced support. I hope it will turn around now that the "questions" are answered.
Throughout this, I have been dealing with the worst siege of fibromyalgia (FMS) I've had in several years. It hasn't been enough to take me to bed, but certainly has been a constant discomfort. Of course, this makes sense .... a major trigger for FMS is stress!! I was having some active FMS symptoms before all this arose, but it exacerbated the pain many times over. I'm hoping that the release of stress will also function as a release for FMS symptoms. I'm already better; I would say my discomfort is at a moderate to light-moderate level, meaning it is pretty constant but light enough to be relatively unnoticeable while my mind is occupied.
I was just thinking about the past few months. It is mind boggling.
My year in review ...
- Jan - new job; two daughters in marital distress and would be over the next few months
- Feb - extreme cold spell and ice storm
- March - water heater leak destroyed my carpet, my house was in a mess until May
- April - stepson moved away; I disassembled my office so he could take a few pieces of furniture with him.
- May - mixture of things, preparing for trip to Mexico
- June - The big trip, a good thing, but also stressful; the deck roof blew off, then back on, many repairs and fixes ensued
- July - I spent the whole month trying to secure Jazi for her own safety (remember, she was a wee Houdini, escaping the confines of the yard for several weeks); we were in the throes of a drought and horrible heat spell, and I was exhausted
- August - the above conflicts began at work; I finally began to organize the tubs of office supplies and arts & crafts that resulted from disassembling my home office.
No wonder fibro is kicking my arse!!
Onward and upward now. [relieved sigh]