I’m writing this while on the train from Paris to Cognac. I’ve now been on holiday for a week and a day and this is the first time I’ve found time to write. Actually, that’s not a 100% true. I’ve had time to write but I’ve used that time to work as I’m not totally free of my work commitments while on this grand adventure of ours. Just under eight weeks left of Eurotripping spectacularness.
I’ve been logging on each day to review event proposals/quotes and respond to any emails our Event Manager can’t handle on her own (or has questions about). Unfortunately, one week into our holiday, our Events Manager resigned due to a family emergency. Luckily, she’s offered to stay on and work remotely from Colombia until I get back but the dream of a smooth transition back to work, with someone competent working alongside me, has been shattered. I’m going back to where I was seven weeks ago; interviews, recruitment, training – all back to square one. I’ve stressed myself out about it for the last few days.
When I worked as a PA, I never had this much responsibility. Well, I had responsibilities but it was more in the background, making sure things ran smoothly. Even when I managed a film studio, I was in charge of people and things but it was really just making sure the client experience was good and that we delivered on time and on budget, managing contractors, team mates, etc. but somehow it felt different. With my current job, I’m accountable for revenue. I have sales targets and I’m privy to the business targets and revenue. I see when a target is missed, if staff hours are cut because of a quiet night and I feel keenly the loss of revenue if someone fucks up an event.
As the wife of the owner of multiple businesses, I would often get told about this anyway but being a paid member of the team shifts some of the responsibility onto my shoulders. It’s a heavy burden and one that often fills me with fear as I want to do well and I push myself very hard. Now I’m not saying these businesses are struggling, more just that now I have a lot more insight into how businesses run and it’s quite scary. There are so many moving parts and, if one part doesn’t know what the fuck it’s doing or isn’t engaged or committed, every part suffers.
My trust issues are also sorely tested. In general, I have control issues. There I’ve said it; I don’t trust people to do as good a job as I would. I don’t trust them to understand it all and to work as hard as I do and not fuck it up. Of course, I’m not perfect and I definitely make mistakes but I also push myself very, very hard not to make them more than once. I also fear that if I (or my husband, let’s be honest, he’s as bad, possibly worse than me) push them too hard, they’ll quit. I fear this every fucking day. It’s terrifying.
Even after saying all this, I’m still loving my job. I like the autonomy. I like being part of something bigger than me. I like being part of such a great team. I don’t mind working long hours because, being the wife of one of the owners, I can directly see how the business will benefit our future. Not that I’ve ever slacked off at previous roles but things change when you’re working for a business you have an actual stake in.
I’m going to try and not let the stress of what’s waiting for me at home affect the rest of my holiday. God, what an empty sentence. Of course it’s going to affect me. What I’m going to do is try and not let it spread into a nameless dread of the work hours that will surely ensue once I return. But that’s eight weeks away. Right now I need to focus on sun and wine and cocktails and eating all the food.
Natalie, don’t stress about something you can’t control right now.