Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Back at work

I always used to worry about going back to work. What's been happening? What's happended to my cases? Suppose something has gone wrong? Whose pouring over my work, reading my notes?

Nothing much ever used to happen but it doesn't normally stop me worrying a bit. There was the time, maybe 10 or 12 years ago, when I strolled back into the office to be greeted by my manager who straight away asked me "how was the dentist, Doug?". That was a little confusing, to which I expressed that by asking "it was two weeks ago when I went to the Dentist but thank you for asking, oh it was fine, so why are you asking and isn't that one of my files you've got there?". Well something had happened that merited my manager digging out the file. I asked "so has he murdered someone?". The reply was no he hadn't but something had. It seemed a big deal to him at the time but it wasn't anything in particular but he'd been reading my last comment about seeing this man at a different time as I had to go to see the Dentist.

I've kind of taught myself not to worry because nothing much ever seems to go wrong. Having much more autonomy nowadays also makes a difference because things going wrong are normally within my sphere and nobody else's. That doesn't stop the dread of logging on to see my emails, although sometimes I do try and see how long I can get away with it. Sometimes I've been able to avoid it for a day or so although sometimes people are perplexed when they get my out-of-office message after they've been in a meeting with me.

So no great disasters while I was away. The first week back was an extraordinary week and where the Chief Officer correctly suggested we would remember for a long time to come. We were being inspected all week long with files being read, people being interviewed and focus groups galore. That coupled with the heaviest snow falls for many years all indeed led to an interesting week. We've had some inspection feedback with few suprises which will inevitably lead to various recommendations and action plans once the final conclusions have been finalised.

The trick for me is to stay one step above all of this as a way of not being too preoccupied. Thinking of things outside of work combined with always needing something to look forward to is very helpful. The effect of this approach seems to be working, so thinking through some personal challenges is really a good thing to do. I've been toying with the idea for sometime of pushing myself with endurance. All about never being satisfied with myself, or comparing myself with someone else who is ahead and never behind, always knowing I can push myself further along. So, is it to be a long distance cycle ride or a run?

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