June 14, 2005

Unclear on the Concept

Being employed as a project manager in any capacity means that you'll always have two "bosses" - your functional boss - who does your annual review and gives you assignments and such, and your project or program boss - your customer, so to speak, for the project.

Yesterday I called both to explain that the health, it is not so good.

I gave them both the option of me going on medical leave or of working a lighter schedule - say, only 40 hours a week, that would need to be flexible. I asked them both to give it some real thought. They both said that less of me was preferable to none of me. OK, then.

Then yesterday, there were a few small fires to put out and what with the "Pleases" and such, I ended up working just about 10 hours. At the end of the day, I reminded Boss #1 and Boss #2 that this was not what we were going to do. I gently reminded, with great respect, that work could not come before health.

"Ah, Yes," they said.

And then this morning, after a full night's rest, I turned on my computer to find...

32 "Urgent" emails. All needing me, only me, must be me, and right now!

This Seussian adventure must pause in its flight, unless things change I may just go on leave tonight!

Posted by Elizabeth at 12:05 PM | Comments (6)

I'm sorry Elizabeth. You are just sooooo needed. Maybe if you just weren't so good at what you do...

Posted by Philip.

Hope you feel better soon!
How about a short leave - followed by the new reduced hours?? Don't let the job cost you your health.

Posted by CursingMama.

My advice is to take the leave. Those people will tell you to take care of yourself, but in the same breath they'll tell you to take care of these five urgent issues first. Unless they're very different from the people I used to work with, they're mostly just concerned with meeting their annual performance objectives.

Most big companies offer sabbaticals to senior-level managers after a certain number of years. Are you eligible for something like that? Just think what a difference a couple months off would make in the quality of your life.

Posted by notdonnareed.

Yep, I hear ya. I was a PM too - with 'WAS' as the operative word there. Let's just say ... there is a much better world out there ... without 'self-made' emergencies, without the OMG the world is ending email messages, as you stated, that only YOU can handle. I came to this realization one MORNING - while working for the millionth day in a row, at 2:00 AM, 8 months pregnant ... yes, your health definitely comes first. I hope you feel better soon.

Posted by PM H*ll.

I think it's great that you are standing your ground and going on medical leave if you must (and sounds like you really need to).
Take good care of yourself.

Posted by Sol.

Oh, gosh, that sounds very serious. Don't let them work you into being sicker, please.

Posted by RP.