What's the difference between a Project Manager and the guy at the circus that cleans up after the elephants???

Thursday evening. The answer to the above question is, of course, that the guy at the circus doesn't have to clean up after the elephants while simultaneously keeping 10 plates spinning on sticks and riding a unicycle. Today has been one of those days when I remember how much I loved being an individual contributor.

I have incredibly talented, incredibly creative women on my team. Our team is 100% female, as a matter of fact, including the manager, which would be me. On days like today, I sometimes long for a testosterone-ridden, John Wayne-emulating yahoo, just for the variety. In any case, I came back from a process review meeting today (lots of numbers...LOTS) ready to have a one on one with one of my employees (we'll call her #2) in which we were to review her objectives and her performance against them so far. Instead, I got one of the other employees (#4)sitting down in my guest chair, shutting my door (NEVER a good sign), and unloading on me. It seems that #4 and #1 had a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge blowout while I was in my meeting. A closed door, screaming at each other at the top of their lungs, each person reacting badly to the other person blowout. I spent half an hour with #4, walking her through everything, explaining that #1 is under a lot of pressure right now, that #4 was probably being really sensitive and taking what #1 said out of context, and that #4 should give #1 some space for a while. Fine. Then I go over to #1's office to let her know that I'm going to postpone her objective review until next week when she starts to get teary eyed, tells me that she wants to go home, and that she really needed the meeting that I was cancelling. So, I got to close her door and stand there talking her through the whole thing, too. More tears, more "she yelled at me", more "I don't want to work with her anymore", more me saying that what was needed was space and some time to move forward. An hour later, I finally got to have my original review meeting with #2.

I want to go home. I don't want to play any more. To everyone that thinks being a manager is a piece of cake, I give you...Exhibit A. Everyone gets to be infantile or inflammatory or emotional or irrational except me. I'm the manager, I just get to go home and drink!


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