Sunday, January 13, 2008

Snow storm in my sunconscious*

One of the responsibilities of my job is to communicate school cancellations to everyone and their brother. In anticipation of a snow storm tomorrow my boss has cancelled school. There is a 100% chance of snow, so it is probably a good call.

So this is what I have to do:
1. Set up an auto-dialing message that will be delivered to the home of every student, staff member and interested party letting them know school is cancelled tomorrow.
2. Making sure our interpreter team is sending the same message in Spanish and Portuguese.
3. Asking our web technician to post the school cancellation on our website.
4. Asking the City Communication Director to post the school cancellation on the City website and on the City's cable access television channels.
5. Informing the senior administrative team, the elected School Committee members, and the City's 311 operators that school cancellation messages are due out in (10 minutes and counting).
6. And finally, tomorrow morning, I need to get up early early early and call six different media storm centers to change the status of my school district from "open" to "closed."

BMG finds this all interesting and fun as an expression of my power. I find it anxiety provoking. I'm afraid of making a mistake, of screwing it up somehow, or not getting the message to the right people. This is all rather silly because (a) my boss told me to do it, and (b) everything is done via automated systems, so if I screw up it is only because the systems screwed up.

There is a cosmic lesson in here, if I can focus enough to find it. What is making me so anxious? I've always felt this way about doing the school closure messages. So this isn't about being under a particular sort of stress that accentuates my neuroses. If I close my eyes and ask "What am I afraid of?" what I hear back is "I'm going to miss something." This is not about being afraid of my power. It is about my fear of not being perfect, and my fear of being blamed if something goes wrong. My fear of not being perfect. And what happens if I'm not perfect in the eyes of authority? I get abandoned.

This is a snow storm in my subconscious that even now, after ten years of reflection and hard work, I'm still digging out from.


*The word sunconscious in the title is a typo - it should be subconscious. But, it was a typo of Freudian proportions too good to fix.

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