Post 3: On Schedule, On Letting go, And On Demand
“Everybody's working for the weekend, Everybody wants a little romance,
Everybody's goin' off the deep end, Everybody needs a second chance…”
-Loverboy Workin for the Weekend
Ever since I started working all I wanted to do was work. Work makes sense to me. You go and you do a job and in exchange, you get money or some kind of compensation. Work makes sense because at work X=X and Y=Y. In my life, I’ve found that outside of work X=9 and Y= a sack of potatoes. Work is functioning and not working is a sure fire shot at dysfunction for me. I am not good at relaxing or vacationing or even night offing. Ask the people who work with me, and I know they will tell you. I go out of town on weekends and call the shop twenty times to see how things are going. Some of that is a function of my new role as owner and boss but most of it is my nature. I’ve been known to, in the middle of a softball game I’m playing, log in to the store's point-of-sale system from my phone to check on sales numbers, or to log in to our security cameras from home to see what people are doing. This is who I am and I own it.
Scheduling is hard for me. I pack as much in as I can to as short a time as possible. I plan my day by the 15 minutes. The problem with this plan is that often I don’t leave enough time to actually achieve anything. Now imagine being so miserable at managing your own life and trying to herd the cats who run a comic shop. Scheduling is hard. It’s tough to match the people to the thing. I need person A to work event B and Person C needs a certain day off. It’s often easier to work myself rather than figure out how to staff all the hours that need staffing. That’s all well and good if you are a robot but as you’ve seen, I am not. It’s an interesting line to walk, how much should I work, and how much should I schedule others, and what person is best for what shift, it all matters. Which brings me to my next point…
On Letting Go
It’s tough to let go when you are a work-a-holic. It’s hard to trust other people to do jobs, even if they are jobs that those people are good at or suited for. It’s impossible to let things happen. As we have transitioned into our new roles be it ownership or management or whatever there have been jobs where It’s been some people are better suited than others. For instance: Krys and Tommy are both interested in anime and manga, they have stepped up and taken on the responsibility of Samurai Sundays, Amanda is a great merchandiser, so she is the one who decides what displays look like and where product sIt’s in the shop, and Alex is responsible for the back issues. These people do great jobs at their individual responsibilities, but my nature prevents me from letting them work in peace. I have to butt in, and while that’s my job as the owner, I have to trust that they know what they are doing and let them do it.
Demands are a funny thing, especially since there are several meanings for the word. One can make demands or have demands. I do both quite regularly. I admit it I am demanding. I don’t, however, demand more of others than I demand of myself. It’s actually been a problem in my life. I don’t always take criticism well because I am so demanding on myself. Demands are good I think, they force us to have and meet standards. Demands are what push us forward. Being demanding is the only way I know how to lead, be it by example or by expectation. I hope to live up to the demands you all, as customers, have for me, and I hope the store does the same. We will continue to push forward, to be demanding of ourselves, and to demand better from ourselves as a shop and as people.
See ya soon