This Living Thing Isn’t For Wimps

On a crappy week, some times we get news to remind us, “This living thing, it’s so not for wimps.” As we continue to survive with a little one in the hospital dividing the locations of our energy needs, it seems so easy to fall back to the tired and exhausted state I tried to describe in my last post. My hands hurt slightly worse than my head, and with the emotional drain from the kids, this week has seemed a challenge of the first order. Then it got harder.

In the midst of preparing to take the kids to Disney World, I had a phone call with my dad where he asked if he could stay with us and have me drive him to and from surgery next week. Of course, he can and will stay with us. I would choose it no other way, but I also will not pretend it will be easy. K will remain in the hospital until some time after we return from Disney. I only cringe because it will mean another half day of work of which I have had a ton in the past few weeks. Still, I am staying with the curve at work (I think)….

Then I heard, my best employee took another job. It is a little funny to me. I always pride myself on my ability to teach people to think so they will make better decisions. I think the employee became so good at her job because she constantly sought out more to learn. I wish her all the best while at the same time moaning about the thought of training somebody else new. Whoever steps into her shoes has a monster size crater to fill and quickly. We will be down 60% of our staff for the next 3-6 months with others out for various medical issues. Without any knowledge of a situation, which I cannot ask about, I would think there is a 50/50 chance of losing another of the five employees for months at some point in the next 2 years. The hard part is there is no guarantee all of the four return. So, I worry… a little bit.

Still, I know the cost of training go far beyond the time and dollars. We train people. They get good at their job. Then they are promoted or leave because there are other options for talented good workers. It is a normal life cycle of any position in a large institution, not unlike parenthood. It was once pointed out to me the alternative is to not train them and be stuck with an unproductive workforce who cannot get work done, and those people never leave (parenthood again?). They have no options. So having my best employee leave should be no shock, and in truth, I thought it would happen in the next 2 years even if she likes our unit. For me the sad part is losing somebody with whom I could be open about the job and life in general. I talk with ever fewer people. With her leaving and one of my other confidants retiring in a few months, this job will get ever more lonely.

I say all of this as if she is leaving all of us to go a 1,000 miles away instead of down the hall through a locked door. She will still be within 50 yards. I am just crappy at keeping in touch with those whom I cannot see. 

Mostly, this week has just been rough.  Sometimes doing the right things ad recognizing the good things only acts as a slightly soothing balm for a bruised sense of calm.