I didn’t marry a man named Spike just to throw my mother for a loop.
After the first decade of my adult life, I recognized a natural strength in Spike that could balance the natural strength I found in myself. After playing the role of the strong, decisive, manager of every relationship I had ever developed, I met my match; someone I could flex my strength and my opinion to the nth degree and still feel feminine. I had grown accustomed to having to be careful not to bowl over the thoughts and opinions of others. I had to train myself to think and speak “smaller” so I wouldn’t make people feel insecure or threatened.
Little 5’4″ me has always been intimidating on some level or other, but it never occurred to me that that would make me unpopular. I’ve always been friendly and ready and willing to be helpful in any way I can; professional at work and loyal in my friendships.
But “surveys are in” – I’m not cut out for subordination. Apparently my work style requires a strong, personally secure, trusting manager in order for me to be successful. More strong, secure, and trusting than the new one I’ve been given.
This shouldn’t surprise me, but it’s still disappointing. I’m an administrator. I’m gifted to serve others. But I can’t do that to the best of my ability if they feel like I’m trying to undermine them or steal their job or question their competency or criticize their management abilities. (None of which is actually happening, but all of which is being perceived.)
I’m trying to figure out why I come across that way, and I’ve decided to blame my higher education. As a student, I have been poked and prodded and challenged to be a critical thinker. So I ask critical-thinking questions. They are excellent questions, but I’ve found my supervisors become uncomfortable at the speed at which I’m able to arrive at those questions. And it makes them feel uncomfortable and threatened to not know the answer.
I don’t ask questions because I want to stump them. (Those people make me nuts.) I ask because I’m truly hoping there’s already an answer, and I won’t have to come up with my own solution. I will not reinvent any wheels if I don’t have to. I have too much to do to try everything the long way!
Most of the time, though, there isn’t an answer… Because no one has devoted the necessary time to work out that issue. Those issues – those puzzles – are what I live for! I want to find and fix every last one of them! I want to reroute the pieces of the machine and oil the gears and get the system flying through every issue it could possibly encounter.
I am an administrator.
I’m not your peon. I’m not your subordinate. I’m not the person you dump meaningless shit on to keep me busy and out of your hair.
I’m going to fix your life. You’ll never thank me for it, because you hate change and technology and new-fangled ideas. But your life will be better, because I want you to have more mental space for your family and friends and hobbies and laughter. I don’t want you to get hung up on all the issues that could be automated in your day. You have enough issues to deal with without having to work around inefficient systems!
I am the administrator that is more stubborn and more consistent and more diligent and more patient than your hate for change. I will fix it, though you fight me the whole way. Because you came to me for help – like a diabetic goes to a doctor. The shots hurt and the lifestyle is hard, but the diabetic will die without the routine.
I am an administrator. Let me fix it!