Monday, February 28, 2011

Life! The Soap Opera - Episode 3

There are times when I seriously wonder if I'm borderline insane. We live in a society where striving to be your best is no longer acknowledged, let alone rewarded, yet I still try to push my way forward out of my comfort zone through self-development and personal challenges.

In the past few weeks, my retail activity has slowed and my recruitment activity needs serious TLC. There's a number of factors involved:
  1. Due to rising fuel costs, I'm now car-sharing. Unfortunately, it's adding 6 miles and another 15 minutes to my existing 90 minute round trip each day, and I doubt if either of us would pick each other as anything more than a work-based colleague. Despite a number of efforts on my part, it's very difficult to prolong an in-car conversation past the "do anything last night?" stage. Obviously, my conversational skills need some work.
  2. Office politics is alive and well, which means that I'm getting sucked into various disputes no matter how hard I try to stay neutral. Only those who've worked in this sort of atmosphere for any length of time know how enervating that can be. If I didn't have my Kleeneze business to focus on, I'd be heading for a long stress-induced break from work.
  3. I'm working for a company that has an intriguing approach to personnel matters. My personal development plan, for example, states that I will be rated on, amongst other things, identifying and attending certain training courses. Despite identifying 6 separate courses, and trying to sort out the details for two of them directly when it became obvious that my line manager had no intention of doing anything, I have not received any training and am extremely unlikely to do so before my next review. Plus, despite asking for feedback regarding the team leader position I was unsuccessful in applying for, I have received none. I don't enjoy being set up to fail - it's one of the reasons I want to run my own business.
  4. The workload in the office is so great that our team resource is spread too thinly, leaving all of us trying to fit 80 hours work into every week. Unsurprisingly, this doesn't provide good service, nor does it motivate the team. What it does do is ensure I have very little time during the day to field Kleeneze calls.
  5. My family is going through one of those phases that drains you of both time and vitality. I have a mother whose health is deteriorating rapidly, one son who is trying to avoid school due to various issues (bullying, poor teaching, etc.) and my eldest son and my partner are trying to re-enact elements of a David Attenborough programme on male lions' territorial displays. Again, I'm finding more and more time is taken up in dealing with all of this.
I need to act decisively and I need to act fast, or my initial momentum will be derailed completely.

I'm taking the time out this evening to revise my plans (see my blog post for more details), after which it will be full steam ahead on building a large enough team to allow me to quit the commuter life for good. Of my current salary, I spend 20% on petrol, so I only need to match 80% of my current salary consistently to provide an equivalent standard of living.

Tomorrow will mark the start of a whole new 90 day plan. I intend to stop commuting no later than 1 March 2012. Time to make that happen.

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