Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ordinary Bravery: Day 5 - Snow Day

Lesson Human

You would think they were conducting brain surgery where I used to work with the importance they attached to each minuscule detail. I mostly took issue with the humanity being stifled to death out of each employee. It was an environment devoid of expression or creativity. Ideas needed to be run up and down the flagpole by people who could no more discern the importance of a creative impulse from a rule. Spontaneous outliers such as myself needed to be controlled. Why not leave some room for joy and self-expression? It was a learning environment after all, I would think to myself.

The Background

Thank God for the charter school who hired me! They have high standards. However, they are reasonable and “normal” – at least within the range I am accustomed to. They bend over backwards to create an optimal learning and teaching environment that balances individual needs with school policies. There is room for people to just be themselves.

In my last position at Brand X University, on snow days, my boss made sure I understood a snow day was NOT a day off. She gave me copious work to complete that looked to me like useless busy work; AND throughout the day, she sent emails requiring responses. Although I wasn’t physically in proximity, Andora Toad made sure her kill joy attitude had tight control over me. God forbid I should take any time to enjoy myself on a snow day!

Watching the Weather

My current colleagues and I were watching a  recent weather system carefully. I didn’t admit I was routing for a major snow. Oh, but I so needed a snow day. My colleagues outwardly voiced their hope for a snow-filled day off. I finally joined in the choir as we celebrated the school closing announcement we got simultaneously on our cell phones. Happily, we said goodbye stating we would see each other sometime next week. 

It was true! The system came through and knocked out three work days. Yay! I was not only grateful for the time off, but to be able to just be a human being who could openly voice my hope for a snow day without it being twisted into a lack of dedication to my work.

Thank You

My dear charter school, I so appreciate you. I thank you for having realistic expectations and for reminding me of balance. You value structure, but you are flexible. You have helped me regain my perspective that small decisions need not be a matter of life or death, and snow days can be celebrated. Thank you for valuing my input, my professionalism and, most of all, my humanity.

Today’s Bravery

I have tried making decisions from fear. It didn’t work. I have also been terribly unhappy operating in situations that rule with fear (Andora Toad and Brand X!!). I’m going to try something different that will require a paradigm shift. I once promised myself that I would live this life to the fullest. For me that means living life with more passion and less fear. I'm willing to try!

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