Extreme Admin Viking

Right then, chaps! We have wine, we have ice cream on a stick, and we have the urge to write a blog post. No one can tell this girl she don’t know how to party.

Today, I cleaned my house (Becky stop, this is just too exciting!), both actually and professionally. I dragged the hoover round my chateau during my lunch hour and then proceeded to end the day on an unusually short to-do list before the Friday ritual – dramatically snapping my laptop shut, pulling the plug on it and declaring myself “finiiiiished!” to the dog.

I felt disproportionately proud of myself for having completed most of my tasks today. I’m one of those super chill types who don’t feel like they’ve achieved a decent day’s work unless they’ve run at it like a Viking going into battle. Some villages may occasionally be burnt down in my pursuit of task completion, but dammit, I get the job done!

I’m fully aware that this isn’t perhaps the healthiest way to operate in the 9 to 5, but I have this deep-seated, illogical belief that if I somehow complete all the work EVER, my brain will be all soft and calm for the first time in my life; A tranquil sea beneath fluffy clouds as opposed to the usual swirling rapids beneath a sky full of unexpected explosions…that’s also raining frogs. And someone’s playing death metal somewhere in off in the hills.

Of course, “the work” is never done because there’s always more to do. Logically I know that by doing everything as quickly as possible, I’m just bringing the next lot of stuff closer to me faster. It’s a bit like running on the prize treadmill on the Generation Game, but instead of cuddly toys, you just get more work.

It’s just as well that it never runs out, because if I did finish all of the universe’s admin I’d suddenly find myself out of the job.

As I get older, I’m learning to live with my village-raider mentality when it comes to dealing with Word documents, emails and spreadsheets. I know there’s not much I can do to prevent myself from arming myself with tools (coffee and protein bars) and screaming blue murder as I advance into my workweek. It’s just how I do things.

So, I’ve decided that if I can’t change it, I can flip how I see it. I, ladies and gentlemen, am not a type A stress-head. I am instead an extreme sportsperson. I partake in the sport of Extreme Admin.

Adrenaline seeking is a legitimate lifetime pursuit for some, and those people are rarely judged for actively putting themselves in scenarios where their heart rate goes dangerously through the roof. In fact, some would go as far as saying that these sky diving, Everest climbing, swimming-with-sharks-ing types are cool.

Well, then surely what I do for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week is cool too! I too seek thrills on the daily. I too flirt with death (okay. A mild pressure headache) every time I get off my rocker on adrenaline at the keyboard. Have you ever tried to book a last minute meeting for several Busy-and-Important types whilst writing up meeting minutes with one hand and throwing coffee into your face with the other, and at the same time, someone is Skyping you to ask if you’ve finished The Thing With the Deadline yet? It’s nail biting stuff, truly!

People take pictures of themselves sky diving, mouths flapping in the wind, eyebrows way up on their scalps, when they don’t even realise that they could get this exact same image by spying an email marked with the little red “urgent” flag of doom in their inbox at 4.59pm on a Friday afternoon. Some people pay hundreds upon thousands of pounds for that kind of terror!

The best bit? Iget paid to do it! While others break the bank looking for their next kick, I get all mine whilst sat on my backside, wearing my Britney-esque headset and clasping a cuppa. At least while I’m pushing the pace, tripping my tatas off on cortisol, I’m cozy, warm and within 10 seconds of the fridge. Can’t beat it.

What’s your unofficial extreme sport? Let me know in the comments!

Dammit, Carol, I said NO comic sans!!

Disclaimer: Before you start worrying about me having a coronary, don’t! I have a slight tendency towards exaggeration and just got a bit carried away with the idea of me wearing a Viking helmet, running at a big pile of documents. I assure you I take regular breaks, exercise lots and do loads of relaxing stuff to wind down after a hard day’s extreme adminning. I also do said extreme adminning for a lovely company who give us wellbeing breaks, flexible hours and generally walks the walk when it comes to wellbeing. It’s all good. I’m going to stop talking now because I’m making it all sound much less impressive that what I was going for. Bye!

EVERYBODY STAY CALM!!

“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence, and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” – Michael Scott, The Office, Season 5

It’s been a funny kind of a week for me professionally. And not kitschy American sitcom funny either.

Before we continue, I should warn you – I’ve recently discovered the American version of The Office and I’m spending an unhealthy amount of time binge watching it, so I only think about everything through the lens of The Office now. Apologies in advance if any references slip through the net.

Where was I?

So, my team at work have been in the run-up to a restructure for a while now, and midweek last week was when we all learned where we sit in the corporate family tree. To give you an idea of my initial emotional reaction on the day:


Heh. Sorry, it had to be done somewhere. It’s out of my system now. I think.

So, on Wednesday, I learned that what the restructure potentially means for me is that if I’d like to keep my current role I’ll have to compete with one of the loveliest humans I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I’m quite partial to said role – in the time I’ve been doing it, I’ve gone from fumbling my way through most social interactions  to driving up and down the country doing all sorts of things that would’ve previously had me cowering in a broom cupboard. Now, I’m not one for over-exaggerated statements, but it’s made me at least a billion squillion times more confident than I used to be. Plus ten.

To give things a bit of context, this new-look structure does come with a whole heap of other positions most of us can go for, and even in the event that I don’t nail the position/s I’m after, I’m very lucky to work for a company that gives you a tonne of opportunities to find something suitable in the rest of the pretty sizeable business. I’d be stupid not to acknowledge how rare that is. This whole situation is the very definition of “It’ll be fine. Untwist those undercrackers, ma’am.”

However, I am first and foremost a creature of emotion, and so upon hearing the news, I spent the entire afternoon oscillating between optimism bordering on psychopathy, and short, sharp bursts of ugly-crying. Apparently I process emotions by loudly feeling them all at once.

I’ve since gained a few days of restored sanity and perspective, so I figured I’d share some of the good things that this spell of unsettlement has brought up, because why not? Isn’t the whole point of all life experience to document it on the internet? No? Oh, well, I’ve started now:

Some good things

  • Whether I get to write for money (hands down the best bit of my jobbo) or not at the end of all this, I’m fortunate to have a passion that I can do anywhere, with little to no specialist tools. Case in point – I’m currently typing away in my spare room, with the dog wheezing at me in support. Or fear. My hair is doing some pretty crazy right angles right now because I decided that my need to blog outweighs my need to not look like the creature that lives under your bed today.
  • Not to brag (that’s a lie, I’m totally bragging), but I know some pretty excellent people. People from all corners of my life have been proper lovely and supportive this week without my needing to ask, including but limited to:
    • People I work with, who are in a similar position to me and owe me nothing, but have been brilliant anyway. Especially the one person who’s in the closed pool of two with me for our current role. They’ve been nothing but honest and sincere with me since the second we found out about the situation we’ve found ourselves in.
    • Family members, who know the way to my heart – chips. My heart is located in my stomach, and my stomach likes chips.
    • Resident Boy – bought me Nando’s (see previous point) and has been saving up amusing videos of dogs being awesome on Facebook to show me at the end of each day. There is no situation that can’t be made better by clips of puppies trying to get through gates with sticks that are too wide in their mouths.
    • Friends who’ve been thrusting my blogs in the faces of people they know to keep the flames of my undying need for attention stoked.
  • I’ve learned that I’m tougher and more ambitious than I previously thought I was. This could be denial speaking here, but I’m pretty much fine…like, actually fine. Granted, it’s not a ride I’d have voluntarily queued up for at the hypothetical theme park analogy I’m going to clumsily shoehorn in here, but now I’m on it, I’m seeing that it’s not that bad. Being put in a position where you have no choice but to adapt is uncomfortable, but kind of exhilarating. Yeah, you can still have a nice day out if you don’t go on the rides, but there’s only so much you can experience while you’re on the ground, holding the handbags and coats while everyone else is facing their fears and seeing things from a whole new perspective.

Anyway, worst comes to worst, I can always DECLARE BANKRUPTCY!!

Been through a similar uncomfortable situation yourself that’s come with its own set of surprising silver linings? I’d love to hear about it – pop it in the comments =)