I hijacked a volunteer office huddle room this afternoon and worked remotely for part of the day. Or rather, I should say I remotely worked for those hours, meaning I did more socializing and volunteer work than actual paid work. I was mostly done with work by the time I left home anyway, so really I probably worked above and beyond a normal workday… just with some multitasking thrown in.
While I was there, I went through a little “grounding” exercise. Every now and then, I start to get the teensiest bit overwhelmed and I get the impression that I have too much access, or that I’m the main point of contact for too many people, or that newer volunteers are only learning from me and not others since I seem to always be on-call. When I start feeling like that, I pull back just a little. And (so far) every time I pull back, someone pulls me back in and I get to experience their side of things… and since the people pulling me back in have been around longer, I always get to peek at the access and responsibilities that they have and then I realize something very important that I seem to forget way too quickly: I’m not nearly as important as my brain sometimes tells me I am.
Tonight, for example, I met with someone who’s been working with the organization for almost 7 years and she prepared me for a new role I’m taking on as of December. Over the course of a few hours, we talked about a lot of things and she showed me what I’ll be working with. Since I was on-call, I had a couple different tabs open on my browser in the event there was a call, and it turns out this person didn’t know how to use some of the sites that she has access to, so I ended up teaching her as much as she taught me. While we were talking about random things, she referred back to some of the emails she had open, and it was then that I realized just how much goes on behind the scenes that I don’t know about. Like, there’s a team within our group that I’ve never heard of, and a very select number of people are in it. This person is, and she referred to a meeting with the group as though I was part of it, and then realized I wasn’t. (#awkward) Then later, she pulled up a site that we both have access to, and I learned that she has Admin access and I don’t. There’s really no better way to push me harder than to dangle another team and administrator access in front of me.
So much for pulling back a little and letting others take the reins. Clearly, I still have a lot of work to do. 😉