Marathon/Just Doing My Job

8693763208_5491731825_mI competed a marathon on Thursday.

Don’t get excited. It’s not THAT kind of marathon.

It’s a figurative marathon involving a crap ton of big work required in a relatively short period of time. In this case (bearing in mind my life as an academic), materials for a review offering evidence of the last 20 years of research, teaching and service, keeping an undergraduate (50 students) and graduate college (21 students) class afloat, including writing and administering an exam, running a graduate degree program, and getting in a big $200K grant proposal, all in the span of about 10 days. But I did it.

And, WASP that I am, it feels great. As with running 26.2 miles – embracing the demands of a task, sizing it up, seeing it as a challenge, yet doing what it takes to accomplish it. 

This is what Fridays are meant for. And good bottles of red wine. And TV to veg to.

But that marathon would not have been completed if there hadn’t been more than a few people staffing water stops and yelling coaching calls along the way.

Yet the thing is, when it comes to the workplace, we can’t depend that those people will be there. There are people that we need to do things that will help us get our work done – it actually isn’t a favor it’s part of their job description –  and we hope they will help. Usually they do, but it’s the minimum of help; all that they can offer either because of attitude or stretched demands.

8692682601_fc5d43f1b3_mAnd then there are those that step. up. Who are there. Who do absolutely everything you need and more. And the bonus is when you are doing something kind of new, and they are more skilled and experienced than you are –  who lead you through, and do it with such kindness, efficiency and proficiency, that it’s like half of the job is done for you.

I was very fortunate to have someone (Jessica) who did that for me this time.

And there were others who offered water, and cheered me on, who ran the race with me, that helped tremendously.

So great things are never accomplished alone. Marathons may be run by individuals but there are many or a certain special few who really helped.

We have people. We are lucky.


~ by Susan Walker on October 10, 2014.

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