Work has been extravagantly furnished with opportunities to excel. That’s a positive spin on “too much to do and no way in hell will it all get done.” I have been failing, daily, to manage the production workload against the quote workload against the support workload against the helping-coworkers workload against taking a deep and shuddering breath.

And, of course, I’ve been house-hunting at the same time, and (this week) signing leases and moving at the same time, which precludes working late to catch up on some of the shortfall. The result is a world of people who want things from me, who aren’t getting what they want, aren’t getting what they get in a timely fashion, and who aren’t getting a chance to believe that things will improve any time soon. This isn’t my fault; we’ve had half our workforce shipped to other departments, and management isn’t fixing it anytime soon. It is, however, my responsibility.

Last Friday that thought gave me pause. I don’t have the power to change the situation, so I cannot be saddled with the responsibility, only the blame. I didn’t provoke the situation, so I cannot be saddled with the responsibility, only the blame. Blame is not something that one has to accept, so I chose not to. I wrote out my workload, and the algorithm that I use to determine what to do next, and showed concisely that, if I continued, the backlog and number of irritated customers would increase. I ended with a statement that I needed managerial guidance on how to change my algorithm to keep within the company’s best interest.

I got back a reply that provided that guidance, give or take. It’s a mistake. But. It isn’t my mistake. It’s how my leader is directing me. I shoved off several hours of work a day to poor souls who are already foundering, and did so with a clear conscience; it isn’t in my ability to manage the managers from below, even for the benefit of the Many.

It’s been a better week. I no longer wake in the wee hours dreading thinking about the next day.

I’m still not writing, I’m still not doing many things I’d like to do. I believe that, while moving and working full time, those are reasonable lacks, but they were lacking before we were moving. I think, I think, I think, that I have been living my entire life the way I had been working up until last week; I have my own load of work to do, and then see that things aren’t being done, and that people working next to me in my life have needs that they can’t meet, and I add all of that to what is rightfully my own load.

Effectively carrying other people’s load, as well.

And falling further behind, day by day, on my own life. Further behind on writing. On getting enough sleep. On being happy.

*looks impressed* This analogy thing, it’s pretty useful stuff.

I am, of course, my own Manager in my life, so I need to write me a nice email asking for guidance in prioritizing my life. I think it will need to include “sometimes do things even when those around you don’t want to, or are tired, or have conflicting needs.” Historically, I’m not good at that, but I have just had a demonstration that the results are good, and that I will be happier afterwards.

And we’ll see.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry