On the job

Have you ever had the type of job where you lost track of reality?
Not in an ‘constantly- hallucinating’ kind of way, but in a way where you’re so focused on your own goings-on that you forget the bigger picture?

I have (obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing this blog).

My job mainly consists of (as I subtly put it) making money for my boss. Which I do by winning deals, as a bidmanager. Or tendermanager. Or dealmaker. Whatever title works for you. And the deals that I win tend to be either result-based or people-based deals with public entities. Aka. I make sure that we’re allowed to do projects or place people within the companies that we do business with. Yawn. I know.

The thing is – my job works with big numbers. They’re big deals, with big revenue, big capacity requests, huge demands and humongous effort-to-win. Which makes them both challenging and awesome (to win). BUT. AND IT’S A BIG BUT – They’re VERY separate from the day-to-day-lives of the colleagues of my 20k+ worldwide company.

They don’t see what I do. They don’t feel what I win or lose. They don’t know what I achieve, or fuck up or whateverthefuckIdowithmytime. UNTIL. UNTIL it hits them.
Which is a very thin line of understanding. You (or at least I) often lose track of what effects my work ACTUALLY has in the heat of the moment.

It works like that with every job. At McDonalds, for instance, my interaction with a customer ended the moment I handed them their food. My targets were met, my script was done, my mission completed. But that’s only when things started for them. They still had to see, eat and judge their orders. Yet, I never really considered that part of their experience. Wasn’t my job.
My job at a clothes store? I checked out after the customer interaction. Advising them on their choices. Ringing up their purchases. Done. But that’s when their lives continued. Fitting clothes at home, actually wearing them, all that stuff.

Today I was confronted (or challenged, to put it positively) to look beyond. In my own part-of-the-process I was responsible for writing a bid. A bid that included a person. Well, multiple (12) people actually, which were part of the team we were offering to a client. And in my silo-of-peace which is our bid, I only recognised these people as input-items in a text I was writing. Until one of them accepted a different offer for a different project.

Suddenly I was confronted with an actual human being who made an actual choice who took him to an actual place which was beyond my scope. And my world crumbled.

The thing is – we very much are eager to forget that our actions, choices and thinking are only of import to the things we do for ourselves. And just as this real life human being choosing something different was an inconvenience to me, my choices might be the same for others. But I didn’t realize, because of the routine-that-is-work.

But every choice I make reflects on ALL the people that either get (or don’t get) a new job because of me. Get new opportunities because of me (or have them taken away). It determines the path of the company and MANY of the people within it. And all I register is that I need to write 2 A4s of text to win a bid that is just a bid to me. It’s insane. Stupid. And irresponsible to think that my only effect on this world is my direct environment. Because everything I do causes its ripples in my company.

And everything we do in life, causes ripples for those around us,

If only we were more aware of the profound effects we can have on the world.
We’d live in a better one.

13 thoughts on “On the job

  1. I’ve thought about the ripples before, mainly in respect of kindness.

    I try to show it to others and I’d like to think it ripples outwards. Having been on the receiving end of unkindness from strangers, as I’m sure we all have, I know what kind of ripples I want to put out into the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Contemplating the effects of your choices and actions on the larger whole is one of the many paths towards wisdom. I used to manage people, a good sized dept 35+ I made more money in that job then any other before or since but was never more detached from the people I worked with and who relied on me. I moved on but when you have the type of reflection moments you are articulating in your post its usually, at least me for me anyway, the onset of some kind of transition.

    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Zoe, Good for you for realizing this today. There can be serious consequences for the actions we do everyday in our jobs. They can have a profound meaning to the person. Trying to do the kind thing and giving people a chance can often make a difference. Yes, wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a better world because more people cared about what their decisions made at their jobs could potentially to do the people that they work with. Good for you Zoe. Great post my friend. Hugs and love, xoxoxo Joni

    Liked by 2 people

  5. …. Especially people who get paid a lot to do so, should think of those ripples and if that money is really worth any ‘bad’ ripples they create…. But, alas, money seems to still be considered to make the world go round, and not happiness and balance in everything and et cetera… Sorry, I’ll shut up.

    Like

  6. Gosh! Can I relate to this! This dates back to my start up days which overtook a huge part of my personality. I couldn’t think straight and it seemed to dominate every single thought I had. Almost to a level of hallucination.

    It took some healing to get out though, I must say it probably was one of the worst phases I put myself and my loved ones through. Lots of lessons in the process but the main one – never to repeat that nonsense again 😃

    Like

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