Thursday, May 22, 2008

Work Preparations

You never really realize how crazy and twisted your brain is until you have to explain it in depth to someone else. Welcome to the last three days of my life.

My maternity leave replacement at work was in town this week to get equipped to take over when I go out. Stephanie actually did part of my job for 2-1/2 years before leaving a couple years ago to move back home to Texas. She was a whiz with the mapping and with Excel, and I learned a ton from her. I was panicked when she left because I wasn't sure I'd ever figure things out without her. Our jobs basically merged after she left, and the position involves a lot of trial and error to find ways to give people what they need. Turns out I've done pretty well these last couple years. The problem is communicating all that I've learned back to her. It's not easy to teach your teacher.

Not surprisingly, she's forgotten a lot of stuff. Totally not her fault, though. Two years is a lot of time, and if you don't do this stuff on a daily or weekly basis, it's technical enough that it's easy to get out of practice. As it is I'm scared enough about what I'll forget in just six weeks away. In addition, the job has definitely evolved since she left, and there's a lot of stuff she never did before at all, because either I or the person before me handled it. Trying to figure out what to teach in our limited time and how to communicate it in an understandable way was so hard. Our styles and strengths are definitely different, so refining my methods to fit her strengths and capabilities was tough. Like I said, the job takes a lot of trial and error, and sometimes you just have to find ways to get the job done, even if they seem to be a little labor-intensive or backwards. If it works for you, great...but it's tough when you have to convince someone else that this might be the best way to do it.

It's still better than having someone starting totally from scratch, and she's such a fun girl to hang out with that it was nice having her around for three days. Regardless, I'm happy to get back to normal. My hope is that now that she's been here, I can look at my job with a new eye toward things I have to remember to pass along. I have a running list of notes and reminders for her already, but hopefully in the next five weeks I can really focus and organize all that she needs to know...because honestly, trying to think about all the stuff I do during these three days was tough. Hopefully over these next weeks I can focus on putting together a more organized list and prepare her even better for my time away. It's only fair to her, and it will put my mind at ease, too. It's not easy letting go of something you've put so much effort into for so long. Regardless of how valid my reason is, it's still tough to step away and risk disappointing the people I work with and for, or to make their lives more difficult in any way. They've been good to me, and it's tough not being able to return the favor this time around. I know things will be fine, but it was a crazy few days and right now I'm just a little nervous. Just one more thing, I guess :)

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