'Cause I'm A Cool Boss.
I don't want to say it for the 100th time, but I'm going to say it, just so you know how true it is; 2018 has been my most difficult year-to-date. I've struggled in most all aspects of my life; as a friend, a family member, a boss, a daughter, etc., I've not gotten the job done this year in a way I'm proud of.
This has especially shown at work. To say that our stores are suffering from grown pains is an extreme, gross understatement. You might already know this seeing as I have reached out to so many friends and colleagues for advice on situations we've had at work. You've all been so kind, listening to our story, asking thoughtful questions and giving very helpful advice. I have relied on you and your expertise as I try and navigate what's happening.
2018 started strong and we had a great staff who learned how I like things done, adapted, and made it through summer unscathed. August rolled around and I noticed our struggle was getting worse. All of our ships were taking on water at an 'ice berg straight ahead' rate, and before I knew it we were drowning like Jack and Rose on the Titanic, only there was no floating door or whistle in sight.
The second half of the year I noticed that I was getting snippy at work. The balance in management at work always leaves me being the more emotional thinker and probably 'the good guy' in most situations. My ability to understand and relate to employees, or clients, used to be what I was most proud of. Fostering an environment where everyone liked and respected each other was something I was immensely proud of. But... this year, because of my busy schedule, upsets in my life that stretched beyond work, I let our company culture slip. August through October we were calling in friends, family, friends of friends, people who could help us but didn't know how things needed to be done because we were understaffed and undertrained, both things I take responsibility for.
This didn't bode well for me, leaving me tangled up in bad thoughts, trying to get through the day, not giving good directions, feeling like I could be helping my employees do better and be better, snapping quickly when things weren't done how I needed them to be done, but moving on and forgetting about it only minutes later, no longer leaving me the Cool Boss.
I am grateful AF to all of the past employees and interns who have spent their time at the store. Even situations that didn't work out at the time, I feel I've still made good on all relationships that I've had with anyone who has helped along the way. One of the most satisfying parts of my job is how I can help my employees outside of their hours at work. It's been a pleasure to connected employees with professionals in their industries, helping them with college decisions, listening to their problems, giving any advice I might have to give... I've learned a lot about the different kind of pressure that kids face as millennials in 2018.
As the business grows, I'm realizing how hard it is to be The Cool Boss. My demands are bigger, my commitments are greater. There are things and problems I have to take care of that I count on being done correctly. It's been hard to step back into Party Boss Lauren when Stressed Work Boss Lauren has moved in and has been squatting like an Air BnB guest that needs to get the hell out.
I know there has to be balance. I know that I've said things or acted in moments of stress this year that I wish hasn't happened and I'm not proud of. The growth at work is amazing, and something I'm very grateful for, and frankly something I have busted my ass for, but it's also a learning experience for me, an art school graduate with little-to-no formal training on how to grow a not-so-small business.
I know the best I can do is be better in the future, learn from mistakes I have made and understand that no one has a perfect track record. Things at work are going to happen and I just want to be sure that I am making the best decisions, speaking carefully and cautiously to everyone and taking time away from work to help reset my brain. I'm okay with not being the Cool Boss anymore. Instead, I'm hoping to become the "Strong-But-Firm-And Fair-And-Understanding-Boss" - that is a title I can live with.
I'm working on it. Thanks for growing with me.