• Matt Brown

Asking the Hard Questions

Posted on my old site on 6/11


It’s been an eye-opening week or rather I should say a humbling one. It’s really difficult to manage a full-time job and devote yourself to writing. It’s even easier to suffer from burnout.

I know I’ve talked about having balance, managing your time to where you can accomplish what you need. Learning what to sacrifice to make the necessary time. It’s also just as easy to let stress and things distract you.


I can honestly say I have been very distracted, a bit stubborn and argumentative. Even though a friend of mine warned me that I can only push so hard, I still try. I can’t help it, Whatever the task I go full tilt. I laugh at myself often for it, I don’t think cruising speed is a reasonable pace for me.


I guess the humility of it all comes from the fact that maybe I’m not as right about certain things as I think. I wouldn’t call it arrogance, but I can say maybe listen more at work. It’s definitely affecting how I write.


It’s a really difficult place to be in. You want to say your bosses are clueless, but I also have to think that maybe I’m part of the problem. Maybe I don’t communicate as well as I should. Again, I’m not sure. Even sitting here, I can feel the frustration building when I think about it.

I don’t think it’s about having to be right either. Maybe it’s more about making sure I’m heard. That my concerns are legitimate. It’s easy to stand on your rock, cling to it and insist that there are no solutions outside of your own. Especially when you are responsible for that rock’s well-being.


What I can say is I’m not one for following rules that make no sense, are redundant or serve no purpose. I hate inefficiency when it comes to the workplace. I’m always looking for ways to streamline while doing things correctly. In a way I blame jobs I’ve had in the past. They always made me keep an eye on the time or ask if I am managing everything within the frame I’m given.


When I worked as a prep chef that was so important you have maybe 3 hours to finish setting up for the day and for the next. To place everything on the stations and work to have enough to start for the next day. Pizza sauce for example when made fresh takes 24 hours to prepare, at least the way I was taught.


I also find that, I tend to clash with a lot management types. There is something about the way managers and bosses are trained that seems to trigger me I guess. I mean recently I was told that I if I wanted to move up then I would have to be a jerk. Part of me seized up inside. I think I honestly stopped listening at that point.


In my heart, I feel that a real leader leads through their own actions, they get in the dirt and stand beside their people. They listen and take what’s being into consideration and accept change. Leaders lead, and managers manage. There is a sharp contrast between the two. You’ll see it in how I write, it’s easy to separate those to lead from those who try to lead and fail.


Please don’t take this as a ‘let’s whine and bash the bosses’ post. It’s honestly just be reflecting one some decisions I need to make. In none way it’s basically me sorting out how wrong I have been and even if I am right, I still need to learn how to adapt to the people over me.


I’ve had very few bosses that have earned my respect (I could count them on one hand, maybe two), but I have had a lot of bosses who rule through fear and intimidation. Sometimes I’ve had to learn to get ahead of them. To understand and navigate around them to get the important things done.


It’s a difficult situation to be in. I mean if magic wand and fairies were real then miracles would transport the goods to the shelf the moment they snap their fingers for you to do so. Sorry that’s a bit harsh, but you get what I mean.


Sometimes though even navigating Hurricane Employer can exhaust you. Sometimes it can tear you down so much it makes you physically ill. You want to run and hide under a rock and pray for it to dissipate. Even when it does there is still clean up in their wake, sometimes that cleanup is yourself.


The harsh words spoken, the unkind attitude, the feeling of abject uselessness they project toward you or the total apathy they express to any problems you present them. How do you recover? From experience it isn’t easy, and often you take it home with you.


You try to find someway to forget it, or you hold onto it. Worse to start hating them. That’s a horrible place to be. It only causes you problems and holding the grudge doesn’t affect them in the slightest.


I cope by writing and prayer helps too. Before you click close however, I will say this. Just because I mention prayer, doesn’t mean this blog is my platform for it. We all have things we believe and embrace. For me this this is one of them.


A lot of times its helped me realize that it was my attitude and stubbornness that was the problem. Writing helps me the same way. It gets me into a place where I can think and ask the right questions. It helps me let go long enough to see where I’ve been right and where I’ve been wrong.


Even if I am right, will holding onto that fact change anything. What if they refuse to listen to anything but their own voice and ideas? If that happens, even if they are wrong, we still have to listen. I use saying at my D&D games. “I give you the rope and the platform, you choose whether to hang yourself with it.”


It’s tough to swallow pride when you’re wrong. It’s even harder to swallow when you are right. Arguing with your boss solves nothing, it honestly may only cause more problems later. I’m not saying roll over and die, just pick your fights and know what you are getting into before they start.


I have a lot decisions to make in how I want to approach some stuff moving forward. My editor should have the book edited within the next week I’m hoping. That’s when the work really begins. Once I’m finished with that things should start taking off. As far as work goes I probably have a bit more room for some personal growth ad learning how to handle things better than I do (probably is just the stubborn side of me talking). My biggest challenge is gonna be backing down even when I know I’m right. Arguing won’t change them.


I hope you all have a great week and I look forward to posting more about the Shay’lin War on Thursday. Thanks for taking to read the rantings of a writer. I hope you stay with me on this journey I am on and can share with me in the joy of getting published soon.


Regards,

Matt Brown

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