I broke 5 nails yesterday.
James always comes home and tells me The Story. Every day he has an interaction with a child that is so delightful, it reminds him why he gets up and goes to work each morning. I listen, jealous, struggling to find that moment for myself in the course of what had amounted to My Day. Often, I just remind myself that my team is phenomenal and that I’m learning a lot from Nick, who is a phenomenal teacher. And sometimes, I simply tell him that I miss the days when it felt like what I did mattered.
Yesterday, I broke 5 nails, and it was one of the most rewarding days I’ve ever had at work. I wish Nick could have seen me in action, but that would have made the situation moot. You see, Richie is moving and on vacation for the weekend. Today and tomorrow are Nick’s days off. We lost one of pur very valuable employees to the career opportunity of a lifetime. Yesterday I had borrowed staff scheduled to come in, and I was the only home manager in-store.
Everything went wrong. My opener didn’t show up and we had a very early client that we needed to accommodate right at 10AM. The W.B. Mason deliveryman set heavy boxes against our unstable window display and literally brought the whole thing crashing to the floor. UPS had three bikes and 20 boxes that they wanted to unload immediately. SoHo was short people and couldn’t spare anyone. I was put on hold. I wa forgotten. I was disconnected.
And I was smiling. It didn’t matter that everything was going wrong. It didn’t matter that literally every major disaster possible in a small retail store short of a water leak greeted me this morning. I didn’t get upset, lose my head or my temper, I just called for backup, called Union Square, briefed the team when they arrived and handled each situation as it rolled at me. I gave clear, concise directives and if I needed to, I didn’t hesitate to smile and politely ask for the patience of clients, as today was am abnormal situation. I cracked jokes, and poked fun, and laughed at myself and the absurdity of it all.
I was a manager. Yesterday, for the first time, I can honestly say I finally feel like I’m very good at my job.
And let me tell you, that’s all I need to want to go into work today.