Discover more from Oklahoma Lefty's Midlife Crisis
Respect my Authoritah
Jesus this week was intense.
On my first day back this week, I was scanning my inbox when I saw a calendar invite for a one-on-one the next day. I was already feeling like crap and this sent me into a deep, dark state of dread. Needless to say, when the next day rolled around, I was not at all looking forward to going to work. This entire strained relationship/situation with my boss dates back to my one-on-one in December.
When it came time for the meeting, the conversation started off talking about other things, including something I mentioned that I knew was not going to be difficult, when my boss asked me if there was anything I wanted to talk about. Finally, I couldn’t avoid it any longer and thus I aired my grievances. I did start out by clarifying that everything I was about to say was how I felt and my interpretations of the situation. At one point I also apologized for not easing her into the mess that is me. That wasn’t fair to her to get unfiltered Dave Brown right from the jump. We talked for a long time and by the end were in a much better place. I’m still a bit wary of things and am trying to keep myself more buttoned up, but things are a lot better.
During the conversation, my boss mentioned that she suspected that I was not a fan of authority (being into punk and all). I’d honestly never thought about it. I’ve had supervisors that I couldn’t stand but those were more personality and management style driven than me having a blanket hate for authority. The thing that I really hate, and I told her this, is management that regurgitates policy. If you as a boss cannot show that you have independent thought outside of the party line, then I have no time or respect for you. Obviously, I am not a fan of Kool-Aid drinkers or zealots.
This exchange got me thinking about my view of authority. In my entire life, I have held two positions of authority: 1) as a parent and 2) as a coach (i.e., team leader/low-level manager) at AOL. The second one last only a month or two while the first has been going on for 23 years. Here’s what I realized…I don’t parent from a place of authority. I parent from a place of mentorship. And when I was in management, I did that job from a place of mentorship as well. Now, I’m not saying that this is the best way to parent or the way that everyone should relate to their kids. This is how I (and my wife) did it. The result is two young adults who are their own people, who work hard, and most importantly are kind, compassionate, and loving. We also have a great relationship with them. As my wife has said, we don’t just love our kids, we like our kids.
For something completely different, here’s a question for you. What do you think is a perfect song? Or if you really want to make a bold proclamation, what do you think is THE perfect song?
My pick is “Surrender” by Cheap Trick.