Work Tide & Weather


There has now been a clear movement to the other end of the spectrum, from when I was at Steer. Work wise, that is. There is now a constant work stream that presses in from all angles and there is plenty to do all the time. Here the activities, task lists and individuals or departments that I have deliverables to are so numerous that the pressure is constantly palpable. There is hardly any let up and I make myself read friendly non-work related emails and respond to them, just to create that release valve to alleviate pressure.

The work now includes handling relationships in a climate of turf wars involving new senior executives and current warlords. Add this to an environment where commercial considerations often play second fiddle to what clients want and you have a bit of a recipe for chaos for those caught in the middle. Clients in the case of my employer are also shareholders. It is not always clear in any given interaction, which hat currently sits on those lofty heads representing shareholders or clients. And so acting commercially is often pinned back by shareholder relations.

While all this make my days interesting, they also make them stressful. Sighing is a common response amongst my peers. This morning as I walked into the office, I greeted a colleague from another department who sits across the room in another pod. The legal team work closely with his team and so there are daily and extensive interactions.  When I delivered the usual greetings and asked how he was doing, he let out a loud sigh, almost a groan. We both then laughed.

As long as the vicissitudes of work in a corporate environment doesn’t throw up any surprises, I guess I’d just keep my head down, burrow on and look forward to those friendly emails or better still, weekends and holidays…

I am back to asking questions again, about my role, about making a difference and making direct impacts. It is almost as though I feel like I am merely putting in time in what I do, rather than working on something that means a lot to me. My mate Jason often remarked that work should just be a means to an end. In many ways he is right I guess. But when that work takes up to 10 hours a day (with commute and ancillaries adding maybe another 2 – 3 hours) and remnants of work linger on after hours and on weekends, that mantra suggests the means leave very little room for the ends to be realised. I am tempted to just say such is life.

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On a literally brighter note, the weather has changed for the better. There is now a sunrise starting to happen when I climbed up the stairs to emerge from the belly of the Melbourne rail system and walk towards the building where the gym awaits. Just a week ago, that time of the morning (6.30am) is still pitched dark and can be very cold. Someone was saying in the office earlier, that this weekend would see a 23degree max. That’s weather for shorts – certainly not what I’d expect for end August but I’m not complaining. This would likely mean a stinking hot summer. That’d suit Tress I guess but it’d be something I’d have problems with. Ah well…

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