(I’ve been told that I ‘m too abrupt when sending emails and such because I tend to jump right in, and it has been suggested I always start off with a greeting, so there you have it.)
This work week was not as maniacally stressful as some of the prior ones. I managed to close a bunch of real estate sales, and quite a few of my clients (and their realtors) are very pleased with me at the moment. Some have even relayed their appreciation to The Boss, which is always helpful.
Am I starting to acclimate to the New Job? Maybe, maybe not. But what I have come to realize is that my biggest obstacle is dealing with the structure of the new firm. There are rules for everything. There are even rules for bathroom use!
And everything (well, except bathroom use) must be documented not only in the physical, paper file but also on the electronic file. Each electronic entry takes only a few seconds – but during a day, those seconds add up, so that making those entries takes up a good chunk of my work time. Chunks of time that could be used for reviewing files, chatting with clients, following up on post-closing matters.
No wonder I’m having a hard time keeping up.
On my last job, I had my files, dealt with my files, made the clients happy – mostly without ever having to kowtow to anyone, electronically or otherwise. On this job, even the slightest misstep is noted, and documented.
It took me 20 minutes to respond to The Boss’ email? Not acceptable.
I didn’t immediately log that delay into the electronic file? Also not acceptable.
I took time in between to have a sip out of my water bottle? You get the drift.
Recently, a co-worker nearly went apoplectic when I let slip that I never look at a calendar. Sure, I keep track of all those necessary deadlines – and yes, they are on the one calendar I do occasionally look at – and yes, I care about the deadlines, to the point that they become a part of that ongoing inner dialog in my brain and to the point that I dream about missing a deadline and having to deal with the aftermath. Maybe that’s why I never actually miss a deadline – it’s seared into my brain until after matter has been finished.
But the calendar? Do I care that Betty had to leave at 3:00 pm to watch little Tiffany’s ballet performance, or that Peter is going to be in late because he had to see his proctologist? No, I don’t – not unless those events somehow affect my own files. If I need a check for a closing, I might care that the bookkeeper isn’t going to be in on a particular day, but beyond that, I just come in, do my work and go home – and try not to dream about potential missed deadlines.
It all comes down to mindset.
There are those of us with scientific, technical minds – people like that tend to become engineers, lawyers, architects. People like that keep their personal agenda books always at hand with every second of every day scheduled and documented. Heaven forbid there be any sudden changes affecting that agenda!
Then there are those of us with creative, artistic minds. We tend to take the day step-by-step. We may have a general timeline in our heads, but if something comes up (like Mrs. Smith is crying on the phone because her closing got delayed by her lender – again), we are perfectly capable of chucking the schedule to deal with the current situation. And maybe we get the schedule back on track afterwards, or maybe not. No one is likely to die because the schedule has been tweaked.
Those of you in the medical fields fall somewhere in between the two mindsets I’ve described. You need time to listen to your patients and to create solutions to their problems, but someone might actually die if a deadline missed or an error made. That makes me very glad that I opted out of medicine as a young woman.
But everyone else? Lighten up. No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. The mighty schedule can be broken. And life goes on.
TGI the Weekend!
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom