How Am I?

If you were to ask me today, “How are you?”, I’d probably say, “Oh, I’m fine.”

But I’d be wrong. I’m not fine. I’m angry.

I’m angry, I think, because the team I work in at the moment is being re-organised. It’s the most enjoyable team I’ve yet had the pleasure of working with. We work well, we get on well, I enjoy being with the people in question, I like my line manager, her style suits me. All of these things make it easy to work hard.

However, since there’s a re-organisation roughly every 12 months in the place I work, we’re having another one. All good reasons, integration, single team, no barriers, blah blah blah, but it still makes me angry.

Am I just being petulant because I don’t want to change? Possibly. But there are reasons why I hate changing like this. I’ll have to get used to another style of line management, and it’s hit and miss whether that line manager will be able to cope with my style or whether I’ll be able to cope with theirs. And if either of us can’t, there’ll be compromise, and compromise is always painful, whatever anyone says. The dynamics of my working day will change, the work that I have the ‘opportunity’ of doing will change. I’m tired of it. Sick and tired.

We have a performance management system at the place where I work. In the four years I’ve been there, I’ve only ever had the same line manager for the entire period, once. This last year. I’ve only ever exceeded my contract once. This last year. I consider that interesting anecdotal evidence. Others may just think it means I didn’t work hard enough for the first three years. Your mileage may vary.

“Things won’t change immediately” we are told, “… for the time being everything will be the same as it is now”, but surely if we are re-organising, we’re doing it for a reason, and if that reason is to be realised then things will change, everything will not be the same as it is now, and so short term platitudes do little to amuse me. In the long term, my job will once again change. Some people like that, but I want what I do to be consistent. I want what I deal with to vary. Not what I deal with to be consistent and what I do to vary, that’s exactly the wrong way around, IMO.

I’m not stupid (no really), I understand the need for change. I understand that people go through denial, fear, anger, bargaining, depression, exploration and then acceptance. I did denial in under a second – hell this place changes so often there’s no doubt this is true. Fear? Not sure I did fear. Other than my one standard Wayne’s World quote, “We fear change”, fear didn’t really show up. And so here I am in Anger. What bugs me is the constant change.

Of course, what bugs me more, is what I believe to be the reason for this change. Which I’d better not voice, not even here on my own little private bit of the web. Big Companies have Eyes and Ears. I just think that the reason for the change to be the shape it is, stinks. It’s political rather than social or technical, and it’s a concession on behalf of people who feel they aught to give ground even though they didn’t need to. And we weren’t consulted.

So I should imagine that later on I’ll do bargaining. Although I’m not sure what about. Perhaps that won’t last long either. Not sure how long the anger will last though. Possibly quite some time. Does anyone know if you can go through some of those stages in parallel?

Perhaps I’m going through depression and the rest of them alongside anger? Who knows. I’m already suffering from depression on and off, so I’m not sure I’d notice being depressed about this change as well.

Resigned Acceptance is a state I think I probably entered quite early, just the Anger has hung around. Sorry this is so rambling, it’s a bit of a catharsis.

Only two days left before the LRP event kicks off, and while I was hoping to have a nice not-thinking-about-work time, I’m now going to be wondering about teams and working well together and what it’s going to be like when I get back. Ho hum. I think sometimes management forget that when we change line managers, everything is different instantly. Everything from how you claim overtime, to how you request holidays, to how you report on your work, everything changes.

As someone famous once probably paraphrased, the only two constants in life are the Inland Revenue and the Inevitability of Death. Everything else changes. But I don’t have to like it.