Modern Middle Manager
Primarily my musings on the practical application of technology and management principles at a financial services company.
Pseudo-Random Thoughts

Thursday, August 21, 2003  

There are days I really can't seem to get started. I think I've mentioned that before...the ideas seem to run out, motivation dries up, and I get sleepy after a meal from a local Mexican joint. Man, twice in two days...I've gotta stop this refried bean habit of mine! Fajitas last night and arroz con pollo today. Good stuff, Maynard.

Tonight's drink of choice is Jeeve's Reserve from Witch Creek Winery, imbibed while watching "Dead or Alive: Final" on the Sundance Channel and trying to remember why I gravitate towards some really messed-up TV when I'm left to my own devices. Just bizarre, really.

California's recall continues the state's slide into surreality. I am of the firm belief that California continues to render itself ungovernable. At some point you can only transfer so much wealth from one group of people to another before you've run most of the businesses and "wealthy" people out of the state. I remain confused. A "lost man in a lost world" this evening.

Budget time approaches, as does lunch with the department heads. In yet another Alice in Wonderland experience, I will sit down with people who will tell me what their initiatives are next year, all the while as we act oblivious to the lack of leadership in the company. Those of us in the middle will grin and bear it; I will provide our company what they need as best I can. At the end of the day, it's what I'm supposed to do.

But enough whining. Truth is, when taking that "mile-high view" that so many alleged gurus speak of, I am in a great position. Professionally, I run a department almost entirely autonomously. There is little second-guessing and my budget, once approved, is pretty much all mine. Most of the department's initiatives are mine as well. My staff wants to do the right thing. Or all of my staff mostly wants to do the right thing. Something like that. Personally I could not be in a better position unless my Lotto Retirement Fund pans out. I'll leave it at that. My perspective on many things changed this year; some of the contradictions I held in my head and heart finally broke and resolved themselves, a spiritual tectonic movement of sorts. What could be better than that?

Management is a kind of crucible. It can forge your personality in ways that are better and worse. In any case, you learn something. About hard work. About how others value work -- management and staff. And eventually you might snap and write this. And, after a couple of drinks and a late night, I might just agree with it.

posted by Henry Jenkins | 8/21/2003 10:57:00 PM

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