Well, I have been sick the last couple of days and I stayed home from work. I felt like I was playing hooky though. I am quite sure that everything went on just fine without me but, still, I felt like I was playing hooky. Even though I was home sick, I had to venture out a couple of times to attend meetings and once to go to the annual awards program at our son's school. I felt bad about that. If one of our team members at work stayed home sick but then went out and did personal stuff, it would undoubtedly be frowned upon, but yet that is what I did the past couple of days. This evening, though, I skipped a church meeting. And I felt like I was playing hooky from that! (I am SO conflicted!) It's just that I feel miserable with a sinus infection and I have no voice so I could not have talked at the meeting anyway. Of course, I tend to be pretty quiet at meetings ... sometimes, meetings seem surreal and sort of "out of body" to me. It's like I know what the outcome will be so I just sit there listening to the back and forth, knowing exactly where it will all land. But then there are times when things are going different from where I foresaw them going and that tends to be when I speak up.
All of this not feeling well has reminded me of what a horrible patient I am. I think most men are that way. We're big babies. I swear, my wife could have her entire body riddled with shrapnel, bullet holes in each extremity and a poison arrow stuck in her abdomen and she'd just keep on going, taking care of our son and me in her usual quiet way. She is incredible and so under-appreciated. I need to work on fixing that "under-appreciated" part.
Back to playing hooky but doing personal things that day anyway ... sort of a double standard as I would frown on my team members for doing it. I am sure that people at work see double standards in my actions on occasion. It's hard for me to be 100% consistent in my decision making. Heck, at my age, I can't even remember what decisions I might have made in the past, so I often forget any precedents that have been set. But, it's more than that. Relationships are complex ... sometimes, for various reaons, you look for ways to reward certain team members. Maybe they have put out some extra effort or brought some extra creativity to the table. You want to reward them but then you're in a situation where you will be accused of having double standards which favor some people over others or perhaps some folks will see an occasional "reward" as an "entitlement" down the road. I know, I know, I need to strive for fairness and equity at all times. I also need to do better at just congratulating folks when they go above and beyond and challenging folks when they are not working up to par. I'm not good enough in either of those areas.
I don't want to scare anyone but I was probably never meant to be a business manager. I never really had anyone tell me what I should be though, so I fell into this. I really wasn't trained or mentored for it so I am learning every day, even after all these years. I really don't like difficult situations and I prefer to make decisions from my gut more than anything else. The problem is, when you're the manager, all eyes are staring at you, just waiting on you to make a mistake, show a double standard, or accidentally go back on your word. I don't like being in the hot seat, especially when there may be days that I really do play hooky. ;-)