Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It was nearly 11 PM Monday and I was still at the office on a conference call that had been hijacked by two people. To caricature the situation, we had an aggressive male manager trying to drive his plan down the other’s throat of an equally aggressive, female manager using process and procedure issues to fend him off till she could gain the advantage, either way it was tangential to the purpose of the call. Where was an adult to reel these two children in? I’m all for employees debating the merits of their positions, but this had gone way beyond that. Plus, whoever scheduled the meeting was being very California centric, besides me, they had several east coast managers on the call and their VP for international sales is based in Athens, and it was approaching midnight there.

My concern is that I was providing an update on a project that we are working on and I feared that it would be come collateral damage in this argument, with one or the other liking or disliking what we are proposing. I sent a text message to the Europe VP with whom we’ve been working, and he shared my concern and said he’d try to do something. A few minutes later someone intervened and when he identified himself I recognized that he was an executive. As he spoke, I checked the login list and his name wasn’t there, so he was sitting in with another or had an anonymous logon, now I was glad this incident happened.

The two shut up and the call went on, eventually it was my turn and except for a couple of clarifying questions it went well. Finally at about 12:30 I shut the office lights out and went home.


Tuesday evening, Chris and I made dinner together. It seemed like the thing to do, as the rest of her time here will have (many) others about. We worked quietly, she singing softly as she cut the veggies and made the salads, me fretting over everything. The conversation we always have about why we can’t just be together came up. Knowing that for now and maybe forever that each of us has something in our lives that is more important than the other and we’re not willing to sacrifice. I knew we’d have this talk, we always do; it has a settling effect for both of us. And I was glad it was now and not closer to when she’ll leave. It will be hectic then and the time to quietly contemplate and process our friendship won’t be there. That will be a time for other friends and play.



Anonymous VJ said...

Ah conference call hell saved by texts! We've got so few principles the only way to resolve the usual recurring conflicts was to buy one of them out!

But it's good to have good friends like Chris. You can love one another & deeply, all the while realizing why it probably would not work out well. It's perhaps more common than many can imagine. But the regular reconnections are valuable for both of you. Perhaps they'll come a time when you can spend more time with one another, and find out just what may be truly annoying about the prospect of some years spent together in the same place. Until then, there's always vacations. Cheers & Good Luck, 'VJ'

11:30 PM  

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