Location: Southeastern, United States

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.

- Robert Frost.

My boss is making me nuts.

Stomach twisting, heart-racing, loose my appetite before breakfast nuts.

I am a nanny; I adore this woman as a person, I've watched her kids grow up and I really like them, I share their basic values, and I realize that the specific circumstances my employer is dealing with - like any circumstances that require a paid parent-by-proxy sixty hours a week - are gut-wrenching for her too.

Nonetheless, I feel like I'll be spitting up blood soon if I can't get this woman to back off.

At root is a difference in personalities. Some people come into this world with a clear understanding that there are rules to be followed, and a sense that violating these rules - whether they're "do no harm" or "no shoes in the house" - makes the world a more difficult place for everybody. To such a person, who has an order and a policy for every action, failing to get things done on time in order and completely verges on willful and malicious incompetance.

I am not one of these people.
Luckily, neither is Eldest Child; we have about the same approach to things, and the same total confusion when faced with schedules and lists and tasks that have to be done over and over, completely, like sweeping and wiping down counters. I'm rather proud of how moderately I've grown up, I can make a timetable, clean a kitchen, balance a checkbook. But that doesn't mean I'll stick to the timetable or feel the need to clean the kitchen ever again, ever. I understand now that some things have to be done, but I still assume that anything lost will be found eventually and that "schedule" is synonymous with "mild suggestion". I think I'll live; I suspect I'll still manage to pay my taxes and feed my kids and avoid living in dumpsters, though I might still live in a dump. But I will have to learn to live with a boss for whom a lost anything is a disaster.

In the meantime, perhaps in twisted vengeance for the stress-nausea, I have taken to vengeance-eating. Because a boss without snack food must be a very sad boss indeed.

I really do like this person, you realize.



Blogger Dale said...

Ouch. Hope this all straightens out.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Thanks, Dale.

It has straightened out a little - the thing about working closely with a family is that when they're on the emotional rollercoaster, you're on it with them, but we seem to be on a flat place for the meanwhile.

In response to your last post, I tried War & Peace in middle school; I remember liking it but getting all the characters mixed up. I'll try it again.

8:17 AM  

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