What If?

Dearest suggested this morning that I consider running for school trustee in our district.

Hmm. Interesting notion.

I keep making it to the next stage in a competitive process for a manager position at my work.

Huh. Didn’t expect that.

When I’ve been speaking at meetings lately, the room has noticeably hushed. People seem to be paying a particular attention.

How odd.

I keep wondering who this period of my life will turn me into. What kind of future am I creating for myself?

I don’t like what I see in my workplace in terms of leadership, priority setting and problem solving these days. Nor do I like the same in my city council. And I have a big beef with people who also don’t like these same things, but choose to either complain about it, or protect themselves from it. For instance, I don’t think private schools and gated communities are inherently good for our society. Oh, I certainly understand their appeal. Boy do I ever. Who wouldn’t want what’s safest for their children? But here’s the thing. Is safest the same thing as best? What kind of a future do we want for our children? One that is collaborative and integrated, or one that is competitive and exclusionary? One that brings us together, or one that pushes us apart?

Choosing not to make a decision is still a decision; policy-making by default. Not being involved in how decisions are made doesn’t mean you are insulated from their effects.

This manager competition at work – I had a lot of angst over whether to apply. For one, more stress is the last thing I need right now. And in my recent experience filling in for my current manager over the summer, more stress is guaranteed. For another, being a manager would mean that I’d have to deal with idiots like that executive I wrote about earlier all the time. People like her would become my colleagues. But what did finally convince me to apply was a discussion with one of my team members just hours before the application deadline, a guy who’s had twenty years of managers in my particular organization. He completely understood my reservations, and there was no way in heck he was going to apply. But then, we looked at each other in horror, and wondered what if. What if we got someone who really sucked? Someone like her? Someone even worse than her? We both shuddered. I could live with incompetence, I could live with obliviousness, I could live with benign neglect. But casual cruelty? No. I draw the line. If someone like that won the position and became my direct supervisor, and I hadn’t even tried to provide an alternative? No.

It’s unlikely that I’ll win – I’m qualified, but barely. I’m very young. I have breadth, but not depth, of experience. It’ll depend on who I’m competing against; what kind of person they want. But I don’t really care if I win – in fact, I fear it. But not trying at all? That, I couldn’t bear.

So, indeed, what is this tomorrow I am planting the seeds of today? Who will I turn into? I don’t know, I can’t tell yet – but she sure sounds like someone I’d like to meet. Maybe even vote for.


1 comment so far

  1. Moosilaneous on

    I’ve been watching for 10 years now, as you turn into a very different woman than you were then (aren’t we all?)
    And I’ve got to say, I am very proud to know you.

    And I’d vote for you.

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