Let’s take a step back from these self-acclaimed accolades for a moment, shall we? Yes, I am VERY proud of myself and all that I’ve accomplished, these last two months. I can safely say that I’ve worked harder and more diligently in this position than I have ever before. Not that I was always phoning it in, but I just never really HAD to work that hard. Even WHEN I was a high functioning alcoholic, I was still pretty darn capable and did a decent job for most of my employers. Save the last two, I’d say, when the shit was getting ready to hit the fan, or more accurately, the liver was about to hit the floor.
Anyway, my point is that even as dysfunctional as I’ve ever been, I’ve always been a bit of a rule follower and good example, when it came to job function. Now, this is NOT to say that I haven’t come in a little worse for the wear over the years and I DO have one of my BEST EVER drinking stories that overlapped into a work morning that was pretty epic and I was told by my best friend that she could SMELL ME when we shared the elevator. Now that’s impressive, no? This story also involved Juliette Lewis and an open bar tab so I feel like just living to tell the tale was really accomplishment enough. In fact, that may have been the exact night Cirrhosis decided I could possibly be a host candidate.
At my new job I find myself super stressed and ridiculously uptight when I make a mistake, which is pretty often. As I mentioned, there is an insanely large curve in my learning these days. Tiny mistakes happen all the time, right? RIGHT. Well, sometimes you might make a WHOPPER of a fuck-up. As in, an incredibly large mistake that is so horrid and grotesque that you are left only to send up a flare for help and hope for the best.
Well, that exact thing happened to me recently and it was ghastly. I made a mistake that took a good two hours to unravel and required the help of THREE higher-management co-workers to find a solution. It was, I was later told by one of my favorite co-workers, a “douche parfait” in that it had many sticky and terrible layers to it. Indeed it was. Naturally, I tortured myself about this for the remainder of my day at work, and then my obsessive brain decided that wasn’t enough self-induced torture, so I took the whole experience home with me and dedicated my entire evening to self-flagellation, lament, and woe. Super healthy and productive? Notsomuch.
Fast forward to the next day. I got to work with the measly optimism that at least I wouldn’t make THAT mistake again, and that was the one bright spot in this debacle.
EXCEPT THAT I DID, Y’ALL. I DID IT. . . AGAIN.
I did the exact same thing again the next day. Admittedly the worst thing that could happen in my opinion, at that exact moment. . . AND IT HAPPENED. Now, I won’t pretend there wasn’t some “feedback” regarding the second unfortunate instance because, well…DUH, but I will also say it was handled with a level of grace and understanding that surprised me. I was assured that indeed it does suck and indeed it happens, and will more than likely happen again, at some point. Hopefully not the following day, of course.
Since then though, I’ve adopted a freer attitude about my mistakes and failures, if you will. The “worst” thing happened. Oh yes, it did. And you know what? We all walked away from it, mostly unscathed. Another co-worker shook his head laughing at my self-deprecation and said, “well, kid, you’re trying, and the only way you’re going to learn and get any better is to keep throwing yourself out there.” So that’s exactly what I’m doing. Every single opportunity that presents itself, I’m the first to jump in, sometimes blind, but I figure it out. Or someone helps me. Or I just have to be honest and say, “I don’t know”. What an incredible gift, to just be able to say “I don’t know” and then find the answer, or solution. It really is that simple. What’s more, is now I’m being recognized for those actions; being “fearless”, jumping in to help, learning on the fly, asking questions.
Recently at work I told another kid that I was feeling anxious and fearful about the day ahead, and how busy we would be. He smiled and said, “Remember in Finding Nemo, when Dory said “just keep swimming?!” think like that! Just keep swimming!” And that, indeed, is good advice.
However in the interest of full disclosure, he also said, “You’re kind of like Dory, you know, because you ask the same questions over and over, like you have short term memory loss!” and we laughed and laughed.
I love my job, but I think I hate millennials.