Thursday, 16 April 2015

Hannah Fox's Diary 11 - How NOT to have a meeting.

Had a pre appraisal meeting with Clipboard Clive, I baulked at going in with all guns blazing and gave Clive a chance to tell me how well I had been doing.  He was quite complimentary at first on the work I’d done for the latest Clairemont promotion , then he went on to say that some of the other staff had noticed I rarely stayed late (actually I recalled staying 2 hours after my 3.30 finish time only last week) then he rather patronisingly said the clients all liked dealing with me. I think that’s what’s known as a s***t sandwich.

Once again I had to remind him I now worked part time and it took me ages to complete the extra work he sprung on me, which as far as I can see was a bit of a tick box exercise on his part. Maybe I should have taken the time to prepare more, as I ended up feeling quite flustered and upset and completely on the back foot. Every time he threw a question at me I was scrabbling round for answers.  I knew I was repeating myself and I was starting to sound quite petty the longer the conversation went on………

I’m sure his eyes glazed over at one point.

What I wanted to say, before Clipboard Clive said it had been great to catch up and we would talk next week, was that there is a lack of clarity and vision. I feel a big difference is that now we don’t seem to spend time working on ways to drive the business forward.  He just seems to want revisit old stuff and he can never give a straight answer about the point to half the new reports he keeps requesting. I am the National Accounts Manager (sometimes I have to remind myself of that fact) and I’m really getting bogged down with all the admin I now have to do. Trouble is I know Louise is waiting in the wings to step in and take over if I am seen not to be managing, which makes it difficult to say "no".

By the end of the day I was glad I was meeting up with Jo and a group of her friends from her running club.  I wasn’t sure about going at first because I don’t seem to be as confident as I was about meeting new people. I don’t know why I was worried they turned out to be l great and we had a real laugh especially when Jo recounted some stories of when we worked together at the ski resort. I had forgotten how much we used to think on our feet- sorting out problems and accommodation in the resort for clients turning up late after delays- we must have run on pure adrenalin. Happy Days!

It was refreshing to be with a group of friends who were upbeat despite not living ‘perfect lives’ like Katie and Shaun.

We all got talking about our jobs and surprisingly they seemed to have some of the same issues as me.  They were just so open, forthcoming  and honest and by the time I left I had half promised to them to have a proper conversation with Clipboard Clive.

Still tricky.

Planning our summer break. Amelia and Marcus have both said they want to surf when we are in Cornwall.

Maybe I’ll start running again.

Started to drink coffee again and felt quite shaky ……time to get back on the straight and narrow with the Green Tea. 

Hannah Fox is a character.  She is based on our years of experience working for a national mental health charity supporting people facing stress in the workplace.  
The names and characters are not based on any one person and all similarities are purely incidental.
However, hopefully we can all see a little bit of ourselves in Hannah.

Pause for thought:
How do you start a difficult conversation?

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