Slopestyle Manager

Posted: Mar 27, 2014
Views: 3216 - Comments: 2

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Coby Richter at work in surgery at DoveLewis.

Didja hear? I’ve been made a DoveLewis manager. I know! I can hardly believe it myself. Manager of what, you ask? Um, well, manager of one person. Perhaps when you sum my safety manager title with my new one-person-managership... I almost equal one whole manager?

But seriously, I’m excited and anxious and working like heck to do a good job with this new set of responsibilities. I’ve been frantically watching all of the OTF managerial videos and re-reading both Megan Brashear and Monica Maxwell's blogs for any hints at how not to make a total disaster of this first month.

You're probably thinking, "How tough can it be to manage ONE person?." You’re right; it isn’t that tough, especially since it's my brilliant surgery technician who is now under my authority. Mwahahahaha.

However, I'm working under my lifelong handicap no-way-will-I-ever-be-a-manager attitude. Friends and family have asked me for years why I don’t want a veterinary practice of my own. Simply put, I don’t want to fire anyone. Even more simply put, I don’t like to deliver critical feedback. I’m great (I think) at giving positive feedback (see my recent blog on showing appreciation at work), but run and hide if I have to tell someone they suck.

I do not thrive on conflict. Like our United States Declaration authors penned, “Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable.” That’s me to a T.

When the opportunity arose to become the formal manager for my surgery technician, my gut reaction was "No way in ____." You get the picture. After some introspection and lengthy conversation with my best friend (my husband Jeff), I came to see that this is actually a great opportunity to work on a weak spot in my professional "bag of tricks". So here I am, a manager! Of the surgery technician! Whoopee! Gulp. No doubt faithful blog readers will hear more, as I battle the Troll of Timecards and the Ogre of On-Call Scheduling and of course the Crumple-Horned Snorkack of Annual Reviews. Wish me luck!

Why "slopestyle" manager? Well, if you’ve been watching the Winter Olympics, you’ve likely learned that judges in the slopestyle events award the highest points for the most difficult tricks with an emphasis on performing different types of tricks. That about sums up what I feel my multi-hat job description is at the moment. No one-trick-pony am I! Let’s just hope I don’t "yard sale" down the mountain.

Life is a blast when you know what you're doin,
Best to know what you're doin’ 'fore your life get ruined
Hieroglyphics (At the Helm)



Megan Brashear's picture

I'm right there with you Coby. I resisted management talk at every turn, I was happy to assist and help but never EVER wanted the responsibility of managing. We all know how that turned out... Embrace what made you shy away from management; compassion, lack of God complex, no desire to be the boss of things - those will serve you well! You have fun with that whole management thing, I'm happy to simply manage my dog these days!

Coby Richter's picture

Megan - "Dog Manager" can be exhausting as well. All that constant purchasing of special supplies, accommodating dietary requirements, ensuring environmental enrichment, providing incentive packages... sounds like a full time job to me.