Many businesses go through times where the team just has to put extra hours in over and above the norm because of a short-term need. This can cause problems at work fitting in the increased workload; and it can also cause problems at home, or the fact that you don’t get home quite as you used to only a few weeks ago.
Family and partners can become a little frustrated when they are used to a routine and this new short-term norm might not seem very short term to them. Tempers can fray, snarky comments can be made and everyone feels bad about it, adding even more pressure to an already stressed individual.
This is exactly was has been happening in my household over the last few weeks, the new norm is very much an all consuming work focused zone, with play time very much a weekend only affair, temporarily.
But I have a greater understanding for what my man is going through now, because I put myself in his shadow for three whole days, I played fly on the wall. Rather than him go on a three-day road trip around the South Island of New Zealand covering several towns on his own, I moved my own schedule around a little and made myself his chauffeur and general dogs body for the trip. I was there to witness his world and to help him where I could.
I was able to take on a good deal of the driving, navigate us through new towns, be ready at the end of each appointment with directions to get to the next, and grab coffees and a sandwiches to keep him fed and watered. I felt a little like Morgan Freeman in Driving Miss Daisy, but at a much faster pace!
During the three days, I was overwhelmed at the constant phone calls, texts and emails that needed dealing with at any available moment, right up until actual take off and as soon as we had landed, yet there is nothing different with this man, he is simply the same as many busy executives around the world, frantically busy and trying hard to get a job done.
Here is what I learnt:
- Not only did the phone ring continually, but also the amount of emails that continually filled his inbox was simply stupid, and I thought I received a lot! I don’t know what the answer is to email overload, but I know on a worldwide scale, it is out of hand. How can a busy exec reasonably keep up with email and do the job in hand?
- There simply is no time for anything that is not scheduled. If its not scheduled, it doesn’t get done. End of. Getting on the schedule in the first place is a feat in itself, there has to be good reason to get there, no time for “coffee catch up’s” with no clear agenda.
- It’s tiring, big time. At the end of the working day, its dinner, more work and then bed. Rinse and repeat for each day.
So was it worth it? Absolutely. Not only did I get to see some great scenery but I spent three whole days in the car with my man, and witnessed “a day in the life of” x3.
I was exhausted when we arrived back, and now I totally understand his need to flop, do nothing, speak to no one, and just rest when he gets home. Normally, I bound to the door like a new puppy to greet him, chattering about my day, and probably being generally quite annoying, not that he would ever say. But now I really know the pressure he is feeling and what he needs most when he gets home, silence. Only then will he slowly come back to the hubby I know and love, and be mine for his home time.
If your partner is totally under the pump at work, are you able to help in some way? How can you spend some time to understand what they are going through and support them? I know they sure would appreciate it, and you will appreciate their situation just a little more.