This morning I went over to the home office to take a seminar on some new-fangled financial software my company has invested in to help us manage our budgets. Afterwards, I met with my human resources director to talk about some feedback she had received about me and my leadership skills. The feedback was pretty standard, overall pretty brutal, and of course, anonymous (goddammit). Having no one to hash out the "truthiness" of the feedback, I went to a friend of mine to get some insight and to help stop me from feeling sorry for myself.
She and I have spent a lot of time commiserating lately, mainly because we are both employed at an institution where the young leaders are provided with no mentorship or preparatory training, and are forced to flounder around like two baby wildebeests forging the reptile-infested waters of the Mara river alone. I started feeling better after she took my side, which she's very good at, but we both started realizing the huge flaws in our system that keep us from realizing how great we could be at our jobs.
At one point I turned on the victim mentality and started thinking about how the system was actually built to work against us. This is how pathetic I can get. Sardonically, I said to her, "I feel like I'm swimming upstream. I feel like a salmon spawning. I work and work and work to meet my goal, and when I get there I'm lucky if I even get to have sex before I shrivel up and die!"