Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So Here is the Real Issue

Honest to goodness, this is what is weighing me down.

Our CEO had a brainchild. It's this new technology conference. When the CEO has a brainchild he looks for someone to raise that child and is VERY involved in the process. That child-raising experience can be rather like being a nanny of a very naughty child whose parents want it raised a very specific way - er, maybe that's a bit far fetched. At any rate, this conference is unlike any other.

Imagine...a young software developer attending a technology conference...video game consoles, crazy wacky wild stuff going on JUST for entertainment's sake...a little bit of learning...lots of madness...

Now imagine throwing that person's GRANDPARENTS in next to that developer while he is trying to play his video games... SCREEAAAPE! (Needle off of the record, LP, vinyl, whatever you will...)

Now imagine trying to MAKE that software developer have an AMAZING time at a conference WHILE his grandparents are hanging out with him...???

AAAnd that's just the beginning of the problem. I like solving problems, and this is a difficult one to solve, so inevitably I like it. It is my battleground where I may prove my amazingness by actually pulling this off, ever on the verge of defeat, and yet just one step ahead of the bloodthirsty teeth of failure.

(By the way, did I mention that we got our registration system up on time. HURRAY!!! It was a huge endeavor. Really it was.)

So, I have been asking for a replacement 2012 chair for the past three months. Every time I mention it, our CEO changes the subject, runs out of the room to another meeting, SOMETHING?!? until it starts to smell fishy. At our last big push, the CEO asked, "And why isn't A{that's me} going to be our 2012 chair?"

I kind of flipped, only I didn't. I was cornered. I had explained three months earlier that I would not be chairing the 2012 conference. I am on loan to the Marketing VP because I am amazing at getting things out of the door, and he really needs me to pull this off. That isn't to sound prideful or anything. I have plenty of things I am really bad at {let me count the ways}, so give me this one. As it turns out, my marketing VP considers any and all brain children of said CEO children of his very own, so when the CEO asks for me as the 2012 chair, I panic. I am now the brainchild! The deliverable! The objective! How did this happen?

Sometimes you have to learn to sidestep in order to move forward. Anyway, I think I did respectably well by stating that the reasons were too numerous to address in the context of that meeting. Thus did I manage to buy myself some time to overcome the feelings of being cornered in a room where everyone is going for the jugular all at once with statements like, "Well, why not?" "Maybe that's something you should consider..." "It's a compliment! It means he feels nobody else can do this!" "It's because you did such an amazing job this time around! You really have done something nobody else could!" Etc.. Chest tightening, blood leaving extremities, logic packing a bag...not a pretty sight.

Over the past 24 hours I have had at least three PAINFUL conversations in which I was asked to disclose all of my reasons for NOT wanting to do 2012, and those aren't even finished. At one point, our very skilled Marketing VP asked, "Well then, what would you like me to tell the rest of the organization when they ask why you won't be chairing 2012? I certainly am not going to tell them it's because you did a bad job." Two can play at that game, so I said, "Tell them that I didn't want to. They'll believe that."

Then it shifted to, "We care about your career development. What would make it possible for you to feel good about chairing 2012?" and "Just listen to their reasons for why you should do it." Truly, I AM the project! I should really think strategically and recognize that this puts me in an awesome position for negotiations, only I am not into manipulation. I am into the blunt honest truth, which is, I feel like this could be career suicide.

I know it sounds silly spelled out here, "How could this girl take issue with being good at something?" or maybe, "Sure, flaunt your stuff while trying to make it sound like you are under duress." And yet if you saw all of the pain this has caused my heart, you would know I am not being facetious. Tears, people. Real live ones.

There's so much more to this, but isn't that enough for now? I don't see anyone salivating for more. My poor brain feels like it is going to burst when I lie down to sleep, and so I turn on the night-reading version of the scriptures on my iPhone and try to gather wisdom from the Proverbs. I love the Proverbs. They are almost as good as Isaiah, but much lighter reading at 1:00 AM.


  1. Here's a proverb: Sometimes the information people are so desperate for is none of their business.

    Kindly say, "My reasons are personal and not for public discussion. My decision is final,and thanks for your consideration."

    Repeat as needed.


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