Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Job, part 6

It took about a year, but this week my manager, G, who has been my manager for about a year, and I had a conversation which took a turn where I think he began to admit he saw things now differently than he had thought.

He said he was reviewing some of the specifications and documents put in place for the production of the product currently in development, and he was talking about how, despite the advances the company had made in recent years towards standardization of these documents, there were still many things unclear and inconsistent even as requirements and expectations continually change (and schedules as well).

Then it hit him, and he said: How did you do this in the past when we didn't even have these documents?

I replied, I kept my ears to the ground.

Then he replied (here is the Aha moment): I have a new appreciation now for all you accomplished.

That was a big turnaround, as it always appeared that he considered all the issues surrounding my work to be minor, and any problems to be failings on my part. Now that he has his skin in the game, it looks like he has begun to see things differently. I hope.

For the past several months, since his reoganization that took me out of the role of direct manager, I have a indirect role in many of those things, and lately I have begun to (secretly) relish not being involved as much. Can I say I have taken a delight in not being in it? After all, I have told myself, that's what he wants (and I believed it to be true), so why not let him have a good time.

In the recent week, coincident with the conversation relayed above, I have begun to see him attempt to bring me back more into that line of work, if only at least by his speaking more to me about issues he is dealing with. Today, he requested I accompany him to a director-level meeting where the product status was discussed. (I had not been at this meeting previously.)

I saw this request of his to accompany him a slight hint that maybe he realizes he needs more support from people in his group than he previously thought he would need, that he is running into the kinds of problems I have over the years and, to whatever degree I handed it, I handled it successfully, and that he realizes perhaps he is not as well-equipped to solve all problems on his own as he might have thought.

So, we'll see.