Monthly Archives: July 2012

Swotting with the best of them

Well, it’s started, my friends!

I am in the middle of my Orientation Week for my Masters of Marketing.

Mind you, it’s not been like the good old ‘O Weeks’ of my past! There haven’t been any pub crawls, beer skulling competitions, declarations of undying love to total strangers or projectile vomitting competitions. Aagh, the good old days…

Instead, it’s been little old me logging on to my laptop after a full day at work, making dinner for the kids, eating dinner with the family, giving the kids a bath and reading them their bedtime stories. I think I’ve been able to say a few words to my husband now and then as well.

I am studying off campus, which is very strange.  I’m not sure if I will ever get to meet a fellow ‘classmate’ or if it will all be about online discussions. Gosh, if my computer dies, I am screwed!

My real study begins next week and I have lots of journals and chapters from my textbooks to read. I have also been sent my assignment already – the first part of which is due in 4 weeks.  Holy crap! My head is spinning just thinking about how full on this is going to be.

I wish I was less ambitious and could be content with studying something like ‘Understanding the role of the fairy in Disney movies’.  Alas, I am driven to succeed and to have a good crack at upskilling myself so I can move up the corporate ladder.

The worrying thing is that my application for study leave from work has been knocked back because my manager is concerned that I have taken too much on, and while she supports my decision, my workload is already so huge that she cannot afford for me to take time off.

In other words, she is saying: “You are too important for us to not have in the office – oh, and what the hell are you thinking, woman??!!”

She also said she was concerned about how my work will suffer with the extra load of taking on study.

Well, maybe she has a point there, because this afternoon while she was out at a meeting, I may or may not have photocopied heaps of reading materials or done a bit of research online.  Hee hee.

None of my friends can understand why I am doing this extra study on top of being a full time working Mum with two little kids.  My husband is doing a brilliant job of supporting me as much as he can, but even he is concerned that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.

So far, it’s been ok and I’ve managed to fit everything in, but as I said, it hasn’t really started yet.  I’m incredibly nervous about how I will be able to balance work, study and being a wife and mother.

The one good thing is that I have discovered that being time poor actually makes me more efficient. I don’t have time to stuff around and navel gaze, so I just get on with it.

Speaking of which, I’d better stop blogging and get back to it!

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Dropping the ball at work

Do you think you ever reach a time in your working life when you are confident in your abilities?

I had the day from hell at work yesterday and it reduced me to a blubbering mess and eroded all my confidence in my ability to do my job.

One of my responsibilities is to proof read and edit my organisation’s publications. I had recently completed a major project against conflicting deadlines and was quite proud of myself for managing my workload so well.

But yesterday when I walked into the office, my colleague met me in the doorway and said these ominous words, “You may want to turn around and go back home.”

Not a great way to start the day, eh?

As I walked in, I saw my manager holding the publication I thought I had done so well with. Her face was stormy and I could tell she was mightily pissed off. She is normally very understanding and laid back, so I knew it was serious.

She told me that I had left out a high level manager in the section that outlined the organisation’s structure. It was one of those mistakes that is so obvious and silly and I had absolutely no excuse as to how it happened.

Well, I DO have excuses, but that’s just what they are – lame excuses.  I have been struggling with a yukky cold/flu for three weeks; we had lost two days at work due to a major event and I had actually relied on the approval of the author of the report to assume it was all correct.

All very viable excuses, but certainly nothing exonerating.

As I was standing there dumbstruck, all I could say was “How did that happen?!”

And my manager’s response through gritted teeth was, “I don’t care HOW it happened, just fix it!  The CEO has noticed the mistake and I am really angry about this.”

And that’s all it took for me to suddenly feel two inches high and like a work experience student.  It wiped out my 10 + years in the communications industry, my previous successful projects and my wealth of experience. I felt like a failure and just wanted to cry.

Luckily the tears held off until my manager went in to a meeting.  There’s nothing worse than crying at your desk at work.  Especially when you are a female.  It makes you look weak and stupid.

Thankfully I have a great team of women who rallied around me and made me feel a lot better.  And they also told me in a caring way, that if I cried again they’d have to slap me!

So I sucked it up and went about correcting the mistake.

But it got me thinking if there does come a time when you can shrug these things off, buckle down and correct the mistakes and move on without feeling like a failure.

I am nearly 40 and get rattled by the way my confidence in my work skills is still so delicate that it can be crushed by an angry look from my manager!

Will I ever grow up?

Luckily I have a day off today, so when I return to work tomorrow, all may be forgotten and forgiven. Until the next time….

Suddenly, being a stay at home Mum looks very appealing!