Today's Task, Do Not Melt Down


In the old days, I would say that transition "stressed me out." This is comparable to not eating for a few days and telling folks you are "a little bit hungry." As I approached the end of one phase, moved to another, I more or less fell on my ass mentally, physically, and emotionally. Moving house, starting a passage, changing cities... you name it. I would do fine for the months and weeks leading up to D-Day and then at the 11th hour, I would -- as my kids say -- flip my shit. That's a technical term. The act of flipping shit involves low grade hysteria, sudden bouts of inexplicable weeping, and yelling at loved ones in increasingly strident tones. The girls became adept at gauging the time remaining before a major change in our lives by the tone and volume of my voice.

I hate change. I hate it. I hate hate hate moving. I am a nester. I like a neat house with everything in a specific location and no crap lying around. I don't want to move my crap. I definitely don't like flipping it. I don't want to change seats. I don't want to change jobs or bosses or team mates or desks or software tools or anything. And when someone tries to change something, I want to stomp my feet and fitch a pit and yell yell yell.

There are moments when I am convinced that the reason I chose to be in the change business is because I personally do it so gracelessly. Every time I read a book on change process, I find myself nodding my head in recognition. Yep, that's me. Um... yeah that too. Oh yeah, and that. I am the poster child for Active Resistance. It's not just about being miserable, it's about making sure everyone around me knows how miserable I am. Preferably, I can even make them all equally miserable because - say it with me! - misery loves company. I know this about myself because I am a Professional (tm). And because my husband told me so.

Today is my last day at Genesis Energy. This has been without question one of the most satisfying professional experiences of my young life. Great team, excellent project sponsor, interesting business process and tool to implement, solid and quality company full of people I  respect, a boss who ticks all the manager boxes. I am moving into the complete unknown to a position at IAG NZ. The number of facts I have in hand for this new position are few and essentially worthless: shorter commute, smart and personable team including the boss, super big transformation change the central purpose of our existence, BAU rather than project-oriented change so a complete departure from my entire professional history. I think we can take it as a given that there are things about the company culture which are unpleasant and need a makeover -- why the hell would a company build a transformation change team if everything were happy happy joy joy? When I interviewed them, the team looked a bit harried, overworked, a bit worried about overselling the position. My current state is 'Awesome' and my future state is 'Unknown to Complete Hairball'.

I should be a complete wreck. But with age cometh wisdom...or patience... or maybe I'm just tried of stirring the poop. About a month ago, I pulled out my Employee's Survival Guide to Change and put myself through an 'Are you change resilient?' workshop. This might be like hiring your own lawyer, but so far, so good. I haven't yelled at anyone. I almost didn't cry when I said good bye to my team yesterday. All my little knick knacks got moved off the desk weeks ago so this place feels decidedly unfamiliar, unfriendly, and untoast. My GTD app is full of all the tasks that I can't start until I get to the @iag context; I am so very very ready to go go GO!

So maybe this change management thing isn't complete bullshit. Perhaps I can just drink my own koolaid and talk myself into a happy place when big changes are afoot. For example, maybe I can face the forthcoming loss of my middle child to college with enough navel gazing, WIIFM identification, and long heart to heart talks with management about the purpose of the change. Or maybe the shorter impending commute has simply lulled me into a false sense of squee! Watch this space.