I want to balance out the last post with one about how much better my work life is.
Since Meltdown2013, everything has changed.
Small changes at work have made such a difference. I erased my name from the schedule at work, that was one. We had had talks about how “I don’t work at the shop,” meaning that I am not a manager and don’t need to be there for the day-to-day running of the shop, but my name was on the schedule for all shifts, six days a week. So I felt the need to be there for those hours. Taking my name off meant that if I did errands or just wanted go have fun while the shop was open, I wasn’t “taking off.” I was just…I don’t know, being an owner? Living? What’s it called when you aren’t at work? Who even are you?
The truth is, I’m still there for pretty much all the shifts, six days a week. I still work mostly 12 hour days when a holiday is not around the corner and 15 hour days when one is, but I come and go more easily. I’ve been mixing in some 8-hour days, too. I structure my days in ways that make sense to me. I am, right now, sitting outside the shop writing all this while work is going on inside. I only feel mildly weird about it.
The freedom is nice.
The real difference, though, is how great the women who work at the shop are. The great corollary to being a viciously anti-social misanthrope is that when you find good people they are these constant boxes of surprise and hope and joy and astonishment: you exist! It’s amazing. You never hoped for so much.
It blows me away every day. We technically have “managers,” but really everyone self-manages. We all have our specialties, and we help each other out when we have to do things that aren’t our specialty. It’s a goddamn feminist wonderland, I tell you.
I’ve been noticing it for weeks, how good everyone’s gotten. Our team would make The West Wing proud (a bunch of us are WW obsessives, and we’ve admitted to ourselves how we crave a team like the Lyman-Ziegler-Cregg-Seaborn crew: whip-smart, wry, hardworking, hard-partying (OK, they didn’t party so much, but you know they could, if they had the time.). That’s pretty much us. We have memes, we have themes, we have hashtags, inside jokes, the whole thing. My beautiful work-family.
When we started having biweekly staff meetings, I told everyone I’d put a notebook out and if they had things to discuss to write them in the notebook so we could go over them at the meetings. For a month or so, the meetings were just me going through the list of nags I’d collected in the past two weeks. Then we’d spice up the meetings with a training on something new, or a new drink or chocolate to taste and discuss, and that was that.
The other day I looked in the notebook in preparation for the meeting, and it was a riot of everyone’s handwriting, everyone eager to air their particular pet peeve.
I almost fucking cried.
(And then I bought [ok, Jacob bought] a second whipped cream dispenser. It’s true, we needed it.)
Not only do they care, but they are perfectionistic nagging grouchy bitches, too!
My god, I love these women.
My god, I love this job.