For some rea­son, I’m remind­ed of the title of a 1980s sit­com. No, my name is not Charles, thank you for remind­ing me.

My man­ag­er arranged to go on leave over the fort­night school hol­i­day peri­od, and in his pre-hol­i­day eupho­ria he decid­ed to leave the respon­si­bil­i­ty of per­form­ing his duties with myself.

Almost imme­di­ate­ly after his depar­ture, things began to go beserk. A rash of strange and urgent issues cropped up, and that was on top of the unfin­ished busi­ness he had left us with (although to his cred­it, he did his best to min­imise that). Things which were seem­ing­ly com­plete reared their ugly heads once more, and I was left to tidy the mess.

I took the role most seri­ous­ly, to the point of putting in one or two extra hours of work per day. I was stressed to lev­els that I had not expe­ri­enced in years. I’m so incred­i­bly grate­ful that this lead­er­ship stint coin­cid­ed with TAFE hol­i­days, oth­er­wise I don’t know what I would have done.

An impor­tant skill is an abil­i­ty to jug­gle many tasks at once. I am not ter­ri­ble in that respect, but you could not exact­ly call me adept, either. Had I had more expe­ri­ence (low­er con­text switch­ing laten­cy, etc.), I might have com­plet­ed tasks more quick­ly, but we were so over­worked that I don’t think the dif­fer­ence would have been sig­nif­i­cant.

I was painful­ly aware that once my fort­night was over, I would have to revert to my pre­vi­ous sta­tus and once again work on an equal lev­el with these peo­ple. I cer­tain­ly did not wish to burn any bridges. This forced me to walk a tightrope when it came to weild­ing author­i­ty.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is cer­tain­ly the key to effec­tive man­age­ment. I would not have got­ten any­where with­out con­stant liai­son with my co-work­ers and oth­er man­agers in the com­pa­ny. On the whole (and despite a few stress­ful inci­dents), I was well sup­port­ed by every­one else in the com­pa­ny. As a care­tak­er, I did not con­sid­er it to be my place to make any pol­i­cy changes, but cer­tain cir­cum­stances forced us to adapt. Under advise­ment from above, I imple­ment­ed a few tweaks to our pro­ce­dures, hope­ful­ly for the bet­ter.

My man­ag­er has been back for three days, and only today do I feel like I’m back doing my old job and not his. There were a few odds-and-ends to tie up even after his return, and it took him a lit­tle while to get back into the groove as well. I think we have both re-found our respec­tive places, though. The feed­back I have received has been very pos­i­tive, and I have been asked to con­sid­er tak­ing on cer­tain duties on a per­ma­nent basis. I’ll have to take some time to reflect upon the past cou­ple of weeks before I can give an appro­pri­ate answer.

%d bloggers like this: