Sunday, July 30, 2017

A clearer perspective

I hate to keep droning on and on about this work situation, but I feel like I woke up this morning with a much clearer perspective on the reality of things. I feel good, and that feels good.

I am not a victim here. I think I took that posture a little bit this week. The reality, however, is that no one forced me to resign my position. It was a choice I fully made and was not a snap decision in any way. There is no one to blame for anything. I used to love the job and the people I worked with. Things changed though, so I decided it was no longer a good place for me. I wasn't helping, and it wasn't helping me.

I seriously doubt there will be an exit interview, but if there was, this is perhaps what I would say:
When I started working for the company I really liked the fact that they knew who they were. Perhaps it was only in my mind, but I thought they prided themselves on being a local company intent on offering a quality storage experience for people. Unlike the national chains out to grow their corporate stronghold, we were upfront about being a top-end company that offered better convenience, security, and overall customer service. We were the best self storage company in town. I liked that.

At some point along the way though, that seemed to change. No longer were facility managers referred to as "self-storage consultants." It seemed we became a "bottom line" business: making money was our goal. To be honest, this is just my view of things, and it mostly came through one person (the GM). I asked questions for awhile, but it seemed no one had any answers.

So, my biggest reason for leaving probably has to do with a lack of identity for the company. I told the GM that I no longer knew what I was supposed to do. His response was, "All you need to do is rent storage units, why is that so hard to understand?" But that wasn't what I meant. I no longer knew the identity of the company; what we were about; what we were after; the mindset I was suppose to operate from. I felt like I could ask the GM the same questions three times in a row and get a different answer each time. This leads me to think he either knew the answer but didn't want to say, or that he didn't know either.

Another problem is, there no longer seemed to be any logic or order to the way things were done. For instance, one thing I always liked before was how all six facilities operated exactly the same way. That way employees could be interchangeable if need be, plus there wasn't any question about how to do things. There was a sense of order. At some point that changed. It seemed decisions were being made 'on the fly', and they were very reactionary, in-the-moment, with little forethought.

To sum up, those were the two biggest things I struggled with: 1) Lack of a company identity (who were we; what were we trying to do; what was our "mission"?); and 2) the chaotic atmosphere (day-to-day and in general). 

I realize I was just a worker and business owners can run things the way they want, but I was simply not able to function well in such a climate any longer. I left work frustrated every day, and I dreaded going in every morning. I never knew what was going to be thrown at me or changed, and it was draining me of energy and life.

In the end, I absolutely do not regret my time there. I felt like the job was a perfect fit for me in that it allowed me to work on my own but within a system; there was a perfect balance of public interaction and "down time"; and it was the perfect mix of administrative/office type work with some outdoor manual labor thrown in. It's also an industry that lent itself to my pastoral/counseling gifts in that people who need self storage are generally going through some type of transition, and I felt it was an opportunity to provide a needed service to others. I really felt I thrived in that environment.

So... I regret that it didn't work out with this company. I don't know what is going on in the bigger picture, but I have no hard feelings at this point. I have gifts and talents that can be used elsewhere, and I will miss the things (and people) I enjoyed there. I wish them well, but it is time for me to move on.