Tuesday, October 18, 2005

When I grow up I want to be a lawyer/broadway actress/superhero

Indigo asked in a recent Question of the day, “What is it that you've always wanted to do, but never had the guts to?”

I replied, I’ve never had the guts to quit my job and open up a café or in home bakery.

As I edge towards my birthday I wonder, how the hell did I get here? It’s not a terrible place. I love my job and I love what I do. I never thought I’d wind up being a project manager but I suppose with my OCD and anal retentive tendencies I’m naturally inclined to project management.

It’s just that I nowadays I have a side job as Firefighter. There are days where all I do is stomp out fires. There are some days where I just let the fire burn and pray it will extinguish itself.

It can be exciting but it’s also very tiring. When your entire day is spent on calls calming people down, while pressing others for a resolution, your world gets tiny and large at the same time. What do I mean? I mean, you have to realize that someone’s concerns are large in their world but rather small in someone else’s. Yet you must treat each person’s concerns as important as they think they are.

I can’t say, “Well, it will still be there tomorrow.” I need to act as if the world is imploding.

I can see why there are more women in my field than men. Aside from the organizational and multi-tasking skills needed, you also have to have a compassion towards all parties. You need to be firm yet compassionate to a person’s concerns.

I also can see why so many women ‘burn out’ as well. You have to be able to distance yourself every now and then to realize the bigger picture. If you let yourself stay within the microcosm, you get sucked into the vortex and all of sudden the lack of copy paper becomes a crisis that involves a box of Kleenex.

BTW, I absolutely love the new Staples commercial where they have a paper jam and need to find Pam. In my work world, I’m Pam. I don’t know why but in every place I go, whenever there is a problem with the Fax, Copier or other electronic gadget, they call for me. I don’t have Xerox written on my head so I don’t know why they call me but they do.

I think it’s because I can decipher the ancient hieroglyphics that are found on most inside panels of office machines.

Do I think I’d ever find the guts to make a little tiny café? Who knows. I like what I do and I’m afraid if I jump out, I’ll have a hard time jumping back in. Besides owning a café is different than serving up food to friends and family. I’m not sure I want to ruin my oasis with the reality of a business.