Friday, April 29, 2011

I Was Testing You

My brother and I are very messy throughout our creative process, while his wife and her best friend (my coworker) require a neat and orderly workspace. Naturally, these different approaches create some tension in the workshop.

Well, my brother wrecked the place while working on a very involved project, scattering sawdust, scraps, and tools everywhere. I considered that he might appreciate some help cleaning up, but ultimately chose to concentrate on pending client projects, reasoning that billable work ought to take precedence over cleanliness. After a day or two, I realized that no one had tidied up the mess, and suspected that there was some power play afoot. Not wishing to become the resident janitor, I decided not to clean the mess, but resolved not to add to it myself. Finally, on the fourth day, my brother (and boss) announced that he had purposefully left the mess to test out which employee would take the initiative. Which really meant that he wanted to see who would cave under the pressure—and my readers know that I’m no push-over. Then his wife (also my boss) rolled out the new cleaning schedule which they plan to discuss with us at length come Monday morning.

Although I think that all adult employees ought to be responsible for their own messes, I wish to appear cooperative. If they want to pay me a graphic designer’s pay for sweeping, then so be it. I’m not too proud to push a broom. The part of this that I find disturbing is that they are purposefully trying to stir up competition between their two employees. The best friend and I have overcome many of our fears and competitive drives and have settled into a comfortable routine and divided the workload fairly. She admitted to me that she worries that as the only non-family employee, that she might not be given the same opportunities. I admitted my concern that as the best friend and former coworker of the main decision maker of the business, she was chosen for her skills, while I was merely chosen for my connections as a relative. Now that we’ve become familiar, neither of us feels particularly threatened by the other. So, why do the owners want to bring that spirit of competition back? If they’re seeking a winner and a loser of these tests, it would seem that they only intend to keep one of us long-term.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, your post gave me a scare. When I got the e-mail notification about it all it said was "outraged" and I was thinking...who was outraged about my Easter post?

    LOL. Thanks for the coupons.


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