We Have Bad Days

I really like the people I work with. My entire department is friendly, respectful, collegial, and amazing. The faculty members I work with are brilliant. They balance research and teaching. The advisors I work with work hard to keep up to date with their students, providing exceptional customer service.

I am really good at my job. I support 15 faculty members, 2 professional academic advisors, 2 other staff members, about 500 undergraduate students, and 60 graduate students. I build class schedules, support faculty, create and support events, process all graduate student paperwork, admissions documents, and graduation documents, and I do most of it with a smile.

This week has been filled with planning multiple faculty interviews along with getting ready for orientation and planning guest speakers. Yep! It's all going on at once. And today, shit hit the fan. Actually, it's been most of the week (yes, it's only Wednesday).

I also have a lot going on personally. In one and a half weeks my house needs to be ready to sell. I need to be on my way to NASPA. Work needs to be set for me to be out for three days (now four).

I don't have balance. It doesn't matter how much I run, or how much of the wallpaper I remove, or how much I pre-plan for all of these events, it feels never ending. And you know what? I've been trying very, very hard to keep it off Twitter. Until today, you may have realized that a few statements about being nice to support staff, but I've been mostly quiet. Why?

Because frustration isn't professional. It's not who I am most of the time. Because I've been outright angry on Twitter before, and have been called out on it. Because "it's a small field". But sometimes we have bad days. Sometimes we have bad weeks. Sometimes we're stuck in a crappy situation and we get frustrated and angry and we want to share those feelings. But those feelings aren't professional. They aren't puppies or unicorns or baby otters.

So I go home with all of those feelings. I cook and clean and get my house ready to sell. I go back to work in the morning, get stuck in a similar situation and write another tweet I'll delete. I listen to TED talks and podcasts. I escape at lunch with my podcasts and home cooked food. I write another tweet and delete it.

So how do we break this pattern? How do we encourage truth telling? How do we accept that sometimes we all have bad days?


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