anxious at work? it’s not just you

Ever get this feeling in a meeting?

I do.

And what I’m thinking is – Holy Pasta Batman, I did not see that question coming…if only I could have a moment under the table I might be able to compose myself enough to answer it.

It doesn’t help if the asker is already agitated because they think they know the answer to the question…and they don’t like that answer at all.

The last time this happened to me, I did this:

Only to craft a well thought out answer on my way to the car where it really wasn’t good for anything but flogging myself with.

It’s exasperating because the offence here isn’t being unprepared, it’s being unable to think in the presence of hotheads.

So, the very next time I get put on the spot, I’m just going to tell it like it is:

I’m sorry I can’t think when that vein is bulging in your neck. And if you want the best from me you’re going to have to stop using that tone and flaring your nostrils like that.

Or, perhaps something a little more succinct will do:

I want to give you the very best answer I can, so give me a minute to collect my thoughts.

Either way, you’ll know what I’m thinking.

Now, where’s my blankie?

my brain, iBrain

Squirrel and I made the switch from PC to Mac ten years ago. Around about the time I opened an e-mail promising nude photos of a male colleague.

“Kavis Warlaga – Nude!” was the last thing I read before crashing our computer for, in Squirrel’s words, “the last f-ing time!”

Our marriage survived, but Bill Gates was banished from our home forever.

Or, so I thought.

My new job requires that I logon remotely to the office PC. “No, problem,” I said, then devoted an entire weekend to trying to reconcile that square peg with the round hole of my MacBook Pro.

A job that took the office tech 48 seconds on the following Monday.

“The business world still runs on PC’s,” he said as the blue screen flooded the monitor accompanied by this bone chilling sound:

As much as I wanted to take issue with his comment, he’d confided in me that his girlfriend is a Mac tech, so I knew that battle was being fought hard already.

Besides, I was grateful to be up and running, which, as it turned out, was more like crawling.

I’d so thoroughly trained my brain out of right clicking that I was like an infant discovering the world for the very first time.

One click, two clicks, left click, right click.

One click, two clicks, left click, right click.

Drop down, double click, scroll left, scroll right.

I’ve only just managed to compose a 15 min. e-mail in under two hours.

Needless to say, I’m not quite up to speed yet.

Are you team Steve, or team Bill, or do you like to keep it interesting for yourself and dabble in a bit of both?

i’ve got some angels

Since I started my new job in September, I’ve had more people stepping in to offer information, advice and support than I have had in my entire career.

Project managing itself isn’t hard, the difficulty is avoiding the infinite opportunities to screw things up.

Sending the wrong information to the wrong person, misreading expectations, failing to keep clear records, or fumbling dates and figures are just some of the pitfalls.

So, I am extremely grateful for my guardian angels.

The irony is that, at forty, I’ve finally figured out how to take responsibility and cope with my mistakes.

But I’m not foolish enough to insist on making them. Thanks guys for having my back.