As usual,

my heart has so many things to let go and type on screen. Unfortunately my mind is cautioning me not to let it all go, because I might throw it all away.

Oh what the hell.

I have one central thought today. I felt firsthand what is it like, attempting to work professionally with someone who considers me as a friend more than as a supervisor. It’s not easy, and for the peace of mind and heart, should be avoided as much as possible.

I am your friend second, goddamnit. I am your supervisor first. Once you get that through your emotion, you’ll realize where I come from and learn to differentiate between business and personal. I learned early on to separate personal and professional settings, and I took years before considering my colleagues as friends outside work. My former colleagues learned the hard way that I don’t trust them as easily as I seem to appear.

I guess I have to walk you through my working style again. Let it now be known that I detest badmouthing other team members, especially the team leader.  I’m not holding our team leader on a pedestal. I realize our leader has weaknesses, especially being new to the company and eager to change things. However, if in my opinion a leader is not conducting his/herself as a leader should be, I will say it to the leader’s face. I don’t do ‘between you and me’ with other team members when it comes to working together. Because if I can diss one of my team members in front of another, I can bet my life that I will be dissed by both of them the moment I turn my back. And that, is no way of working in a team.

I consider you as a team member and my colleague whose responsibility for me to develop. I acknowledge your valuable contributions and my workload has been a lot better since you become my right-hand person. I want you to grow and be able to hold your own. And I admit my mistake that led to this chaos – I did not make it clear either, that I am your supervisor first and your friend second.

Nonetheless what happened is a blessing in disguise. I realized that you don’t consider yourself as part of the team and you don’t consider our leader as part of the team, either. That is why it was so easy for you to say what was on your mind.  And most telling from what has been said yesterday, you don’t consider me as a supervisor. In your eyes, I am just a friend whom you can gossip and share confidence with.

Now before you say that I am a good supervisor again (which after yesterday, I doubt you think so anymore), think back of what makes you say I am a good supervisor. Is it because of my clear direction, or is it because I let you work according to your comfort level? Is it because I gave you empowerment, or is it because I say Yes to a lot of your requests to meet your convenience? Is it because I give you constructive feedback, or is it because I’m so nice I let myself be directed by your wants and needs?

Think through, and think really carefully. You don’t have to answer me, but you do have to answer to yourself.

I’m tired of having to defend you in front of others. I trusted your integrity and I respect your dedication to work that you like to do. But my trust in your attitude has seriously declined since yesterday.

I see when I need to correct things, and I hope you see it as well without resorting to emotional blackmail. Since we’re hitting bottom now, the only way to go is up. Trust and respect is earned. I admit that I didn’t work smart enough to earn both aspect from you, but it works both ways.

Now, this is my practice session of saying what I’ve bottled up inside for so long. I have no illusion you’ll stay quiet and listen to all these – you’ll want to justify your actions. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and I can see you listening to me and understanding me. Nonetheless from experience, you’ll listen and understand later. Much later. After you get past your mindset that you’re victimized, betrayed by me whom you thought was your friend and being treated unfairly in relation to a newer team member.

Go wallow, but get over it. Quickly.


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