Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hay Naku!

Today was the first time I was this stressed ever since I learned I was pregnant.

Ever since those 2 blue lines came out on my pregnancy test, I was really taking it easy. I made it a goal to leave the office by 6PM and my wonderful mother-in-law ensured that that would happen (she picks me up from work and I don't dare make her wait for me. Nakakahiya!). However, today was horribly draining.

It started off with the one-on-ones that I did with some of my officers. We discussed their first half performance and thought of ways for them to make their second half performance better. I think what really made it draining was that I did 6 in a row today (only took a break for lunch). I never realized that I invested my whole self in those talks. As their manager, I had to be sincere (which I am!) that I care for their well-being and for the growth of their career. My throat is sore from all the talking and coaching that I did. Some of them were scared already with all the changes and I had to reassure them that they are fine and that they are good at what they do (which they are! I'm so proud of my team. *sniff*). I made it a goal that they all left the room feeling better about themselves and encouraged them to do even better this second half.

To top that off, I had to make the announcement on several organizational structure changes. Everyone was shedding a tear (even me included), although there were a lot of laughing, ribbing and teasing in between. I will have 4 people leaving my team, albeit it would only be temporary, but they will be sorely missed. I'll be temporarily losing 3 good people and permanently the other one. I know this is something beyond my control and I look forward to the time when they will return to my fold. This was the most difficult decision that I have ever made in my career as a manager and I did not hesitate to share this with them and with my boss. I know that there will be other challenges that will come my way and I hope I will be  stronger (and hopefully less stressed) when that happens.

Oh and when I thought the day was over, another department gave me an account which was endorsed by the business and which they WANT to be approved today. Being beyond our country's delegation, we had to send it all the way to our boss in the region who in turn declined it. So my bosses and I were on a conference call explaining to our regional boss about the account and he gave us suggestions on how to go about it. Then, we had another conference call with the business head who wanted the account approved and we were arguing for the next 10-15 minutes about it. We were going in circles until finally my boss stepped in, said a few choice words and ended the call.

When I got back to my workstation, I felt that every juice was squeezed from me. I was literally hanging by a thread and just one more incident will push me over the edge. Good thing my mother-in-law texted me that she's already done with her appointment and will pick me up. Thank God!

So here I am, ogling the pictures of my new niece (congrats Claudine and Jeff! Betsin is just a beautiful chubby cute little girl!) and trying to get the day out of my system. I still have one more interesting news to break tomorrow but I have higher hopes that it will be less stressful than this one. I already have a spiel which I will use for the person involved and I hope it'll really turn out better than I would expect.


Norrie Blackeby said...

You are a textbook line manager Sunshine and you seem to be going through some tough times and making tough decisions. You are paid to make those decisions. I also noticed that you already have the maximum amount of staff to manage--six. More than that and you become less effective.
You are very lucky to have supportive in laws because the last thing you need at this time is more stress on the homefront.
Just a query, why do you have to make these urgent decisions? I mean don't people have plans? It sounds a bit last minute to me. Also have you read about the monkeys on your shoulder? It's in management books--people always want to unload their monkeys to someone else.
Your most important concern is your baby. Nothing else matters. Let other people keep their monkeys to themselves!

Sunshine Sangalang said...

tita norrie:
- actually, i have 20 staff but only 2 report to me. because of some management issues last year, HR and the business Head wanted me to do the the appraisal discussions with 13 of them!!! it was partly my fault as i scheduled them one after the other. of course, i was foolish enough to think that it would not be this draining.
- urgent decisions? well, business is in pre-recession/recession mode (although some refuses to believe it) and it involves making urgent and painful decisions. will tell you more about it privately some other time but i think you know what i mean.

Norrie Blackeby said...

do you also have mid year performance appraisals? I have to do that as well--it's checking the objectives set at the beginning of the year. I only line manage six permanent staff and three casual students. During appraisal time I get really tired. Also the one to ones are very helpful.
Speaking of budgets, we're in the same situation--having to rework next year's budget BEFORE August. Good to hear that you have a toehold on the greasy pole!

Rene David said...

Just always bear in mind that your baby is also feeling what you are going through... but I know you can handle these situations like the previous ones. They will all pass. Kayang kaya mo yan. Ikaw Pa!!! :-)