No, this isn’t another post about firearms, firearm safety, firearms laws, or anything like that. It IS however, another post about work.
-Preface over- greetings readers, and apologies for the absence. The campus I work on has reopened after the holiday break and we’re running busy already. The students go home for a month and stock up on their booze and weed, and we spend the next few months taking it all away…until the next break and the cycle starts over again.
So that’s the reason for my absence.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘gun-shy’ – here’s a quick definition:
(especially of a hunting dog) alarmed at the report of a gun.
(of a person) nervous and apprehensive.
Now, since I’m clearly not a hunting dog, we’re going to work with the ‘nervous and apprehensive’ part.
I’ve mentioned a few times my last job, and how I didn’t exactly….mesh with my boss. He was a part-time employee of the town who would come in and ride around with the day-shift worker. I never saw him at night. He never rode with me on the afternoon shift, and I never had access to him other than via phone if something happened. If I DID see him….that meant there was a problem of some kind. If his car was at the station when I rolled up at shift change, it usually meant that he had something to address. Most of the time it was minor- paperwork changes, requests for followups, whatever. Occasionally though, he’d lambaste me for something or another. I remember getting a dressing down one day about my sense of humor. Another day because I drove too fast to an emergency. (Yeah. You read that right.) …that sort of thing. As a result, every time I saw his car parked at the station, my mind went to “Ah, crap. Now what did I do?”
We parted ways- amicably. He’s a good cop and a good boss, he was responsible for getting us training that we never could get before he got there. We simply didn’t play well together, and we both recognized it. My leaving was honestly better for all. After I left and got hired at the new position, I figured it was all in the past. Over and done with.
…Except it isn’t. I’ve taken a bit of a mental battering that is going to take some time to shed. When I pull up to work in the afternoon, our chief is usually here. He’s a full-time employee of the college, so it stands to reason that he would be. Still though, as soon as I see his truck here, my brain defaults to “Ah crap. Now what did I do?” ….even if I haven’t been here long enough to get into any trouble at all yet.
He’s proven himself already to be a very effective leader, and I’ve been told he’s a cop that looks out for his guys. He’s done nothing or said anything that would lead me to believe he’s pinned a bulls-eye on my back or is looking for a way to put me through the ringer. But I FEEL like he is, only because I can’t shake the mentality I developed at the last place. I’m gun-shy around management.
It’s bad enough that even when the new boss is standing in the ready room with us bullshitting about the last football game, or hunting season, or if we hit the campus dining hall for lunch together, I can’t help but feel like there’s another shoe waiting to drop, and this simply isn’t a healthy way to think.
I know I don’t need to be trying to develop a chummy, buddy-type relationship with my boss, but I shouldn’t have to be walking on eggshells around him either.
I’ve been here nine weeks, so I don’t expect all the training scars and psychological niggles to be quite worked out yet. I just hope it doesn’t take TOO long- since I don’t much care for the idea of being a scared puppy in the presence of leadership. It simply isn’t dignified.