Topped Out

Remember that team lead position that my bosses were hounding me to apply for several months ago? Yeah, well, my dumb ass did as I was asked. And of course they gave it to me.

I’ve been in the position for about three months, and I’ve been earning the extra money since about day two. I’ve never aspired to even the lowest leadership levels, and I’m not much of a people person. Consequently, it’s been a challenge. But a challenge that I’ll conquer and eventually master.

I ran the night shift team during our annual shutdown event in July, and they did well enough that the entire team got recognition for it. Most of my time before and since has been spent training the rookies. Only one person on my shift/team has been with FaucetCompany for more than a year, and he just had his one year anniversary. While the seemingly never ending training is tough, it is easier to earn respect from those who haven’t been around long enough to have developed a god complex.

I lost one member of my team already. Not because of anything that I did, and she was a firmly mediocre worker with nonstop abusive spouse drama that kept her distracted and impossible to train properly. As guilty as I feel to admit it, I’m relieved that she is gone.

Her replacement is supposed to be a troublemaker from another shift who is on his final warning. We have a history, though, so I can handle him. Inasmuch as he can be handled, anyway.

I try to pick my battles, but I’ve already walked one issue all the way up to the plant manager . I didn’t get the resolution that I wanted, but a prompt and acceptable solution did come out of it. I’ve been a squeaky wheel at lower levels a few times, too. I worry that I will stir the pot one time too many and wind up looking for a new place of employment. Even so, I can’t look the other way when my guys get the short end of the stick. They told me that one of my responsibilities was to be a bridge between the guys who do the work, and those who manage but lack the technical knowledge of the position, and to be an advocate for my team. I take that responsibility seriously.

Most days, I have moments when I wonder what I was thinking when I agreed to take the job. But it feels good when I am able to have even a small positive impact.

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