As Managers, we each bring a particular set of skills to the table that will benefit our employees in unique ways. I make a concerted effort to focus on what I do bring to the table, rather than what I don’t. Because focusing on what one does not bring to the table lends itself to a quick and dark spiral downward. However, one quality I actively covet is Game Face. I don’t have it. I wish I did. Are people born with it, or is it a skill to be honed?

Game Face would have come in especially handy this morning. Our company holiday celebration was lovely all around, but it of course contains a lot of excitement. N.Lo, for instance, hasn’t napped in three days. K.Lo gets a little batty with so much stimulation, as does the Manager. And Housekeeping! And the Laundry Fairy! These departments are overwhelmed, and overwhelmed can quickly evolve into surly. It’s a perfect company storm.

The Manager planned to go to yoga, a.k.a. Exercise Place, for a healthy dose of calm. Getting out the door in time was perhaps difficult. N.Lo may have whined and fussed over the smallest of dissatisfactions. He may have bopped his coworker on the head twice and taken over a half hour to apologize. At which point he may have asked to go back to bed, only to kick the hell out of his crib 20 minutes later. K.Lo might have been pleasant until it was time to get dressed into her day clothes, at which point, she may have chosen yet another weather-inappropriate outfit, changed into an outfit that was more weather-appropriate at the Manager’s insistence, and seemed happy with that outfit until 30 seconds before departure.

The Manager may have then lost her mind. The CEO, who was attempting to sleep in despite the preceding mayhem, may have been treated to a small but dramatic show. The neighbors, too. We may have made it to Exercise Place despite it all. Maybe we were a few minutes late, but never mind. The real kicker may have been at pickup when the wind, no less than three times, swept away two coloring sheets belonging to one K.Lo. And the Manager, whose arms were unsuccessfully carrying one N.Lo, one coloring sheet by N.Lo, two yoga mats and K.Lo’s hand, attempted to chase down said runaway sheets, with marginal success the first one and a half times. And on the third time, the sheets may have blown halfway across the parking lot while the Manager struggled to keep tabs on two employees, two yoga mats and one remaining coloring sheet, imagining K.Lo’s dismay when we lost them for good. I should explain these coloring sheets are Very Important to K.Lo and we have made return trips to the gym when they’ve been previously forgotten. It may be a little headache. To be kind.

And the Manager, lacking Game Face, may have cursed a little while her children and the yoga mats spilled all over the place and the papers flew further away. Wouldn’t Game Face have been nice? As well as the wisdom and foresight and plain old common sense to carry all three coloring papers myself, period, the end? That would have made the morning more pleasant, and the company less traumatized, I feel. Something to work on in the future, unless it is in fact true that Game Facers are born and not made.

In the meantime, two fellow gym members were mercifully kind enough to grab the flying papers and return them to the Manager, who then rounded up two employees, two half-unrolled yoga mats, and three all-important coloring papers, and made her way to the company car. Feathers way too ruffled. And, considering, lucky to have made it across the lot with all company members intact and alive.

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6 peanuts:
  1. Andria says:

    oof. I feel your pain.

    but, that was this (yesterday) morning. What in the WORLD has you up until 2:00AM? There must be another story there, no?

  1. pen says:

    Housekeeping needed some alone time for increased productivity. ;)

  1. you made it to yoga! :D

  1. almost anonymous says:

    Hope the post-yoga trauma didn't wipe away all the good :)

    My mom was just commenting the other day on how employees remember more incidents when their managers lose their game face than whatever caused it. (Her example was my grandma throwing blocks in the air and breaking the overhead light.)

  1. pen says:

    That's a big fear. My follow-up question to that is... do employees remember good moments in equal or better measure to loss of game face moments? I guess there is no real answer. :/

  1. almost anonymous says:

    Meh. It is what it is, and there are definitely many, many people who are seriously damaging their children. On purpose (because they're bad) or on accident (because they're stupid).

    We've been going through the early years on super 8 film...montages in three-minute increments. The weird part is identifying with my parents more than my baby self. (A baby is a baby to a large extent, after all.)