One of the many valuable things that I took from my departure from KCRW was a reply-all note to the staff-wide announcement that went out with my news. Here is what it said:
It’s a bittersweet day for all of us. Betsy is a one-of-a-kind badass. Super competent with a healthy dose of kook.The friendliest person you’ll ever meet, who also can take you down with a withering look if you waste her time.
She will soon rule the world.
Nothing beats an HONEST complimentary takedown! I’m kind of picking on Bob Carlson, the fine friend that captured the good, the bad and the ugly about working with me in this email! I truly felt flattered, but it was a bit eye-opening.
So, I admit it. I have taken a few down with my eyes. And I can’t tell you how profusely I apologize if you were ever caught victim. I think of one co-worker in particular, who no matter what was going on in my sphere of productivity – it felt like a BURST each time she approached — probably because she approached with very reasonable requests that I never felt I had the resources to satisfy.
I had wondered why people began to tiptoe toward me, beginning their approach from 5 feet away, their body language indicating that they were almost physically crossing a boundary into a zone where ANYTHING could happen, perhaps they could be barked back out.
My desire was quite the opposite. Being helpful and supportive to the staff with questions and problems that needed solutions was part of the mantra of the department. Go forth team, and support! Treat your coworkers as if they are clients, and you are an exemplary customer support representative – helping them meet their goals with your talent, creativity and skill set!
Enter – THE ACCIDENTAL CREATIVE!
“You go to work each day tasked with (1) inventing brilliant solutions that (2) meet specific objectives by (3) defined deadlines. If you do this successfully you get to keep your job. If you don’t, you get to work on your résumé. The moment you exchange your creative efforts for money, you enter a world where you will have to be brilliant at a moment’s notice. (no pressure, right?)”
I read this book with a contentment for the slow pace of page turning that I haven’t experienced since I took on the task of churning out short format content primed for virality. At first, it was like reading my life back to me. I wanted EVERYONE that I knew to read it.
Look, it is a self help book. If you are like me, then you may have little patience for the repetition of concepts, but overall the solutions are good and the problems are relatable. It is always nice to hear that your very specific hell is something that an author can point to as TYPICAL!
So, thanks Bob Carlson, and thanks to The Accidental Creative, for giving me some new work patterns to consider in my next venture in the work place – so that hopefully I can leave the UGLY parts out. I will be sure to communicate my needs for nurturing my output as the value of my day – rather how busily I spend my minute to minute. Perhaps I can spare a few folks from the withering take down if I better organize my creative time in juxtaposition with my role as a team player in the office!
Now, to find the next office!!!