September 8, 2009

A Metaphor

I've got a certain amount of job-related stress these days. And by certain I mean a metric fucking ton. Right on my shoulders, or at least that's how it feels. I don't want to bore you with work-speak but here's a metaphor that might help me illustrate what I'm dealing with.

Imagine this. You're a cyclist. You have trained and competed for years. As a result, you're quite successful. As a matter of fact, you're successful. You've won many races, had many experiences, come out at the very top of your field and delivered wins that impresses your fans and your sponsors. You consider yourself good at what you do. Your success has led you to win the coveted Insanely Hard Olympic Bike Challenge. And since the Olympics don't happen each year, you've done your very best to win all the victories - though minor by comparison - in between. But now, once again, it's time for the Olympics.

In preparation, you train and you train and you train. You pour every last ounce of effort into these preparations. And then the starting gun goes off and you race. Even while you're doing it, you know you should win. There is no doubt. Looking around at your competition, there's no question whatsoever.

Yet, for some reason this year, the Insanely Hard Olympic Bike Challenge isn't based only on who crosses the finish line first. No, there's an element of style to it. Like your riding style, sportsmanship, how good your ass looks in those tight bike pants. Instead of the first guy taking home the medal, there's a frustrating element of subjectivity to it. And unfortunately, you're the only one who knows deep down inside that you nailed it. You just have to hope you showed everyone else the same. And didn't piss off the Russian judge.

And then in the eleventh hour, just before the medal is awarded, when you're poised to take your place on the podium if indeed you did win first, second or third place, the competition starts lobbing rumors and innuendo. Performance enhancing drugs. Doping. These rumors are, of course, completely untrue but they plague you and you fear that they just might influence that subjective element.

Whether I've taken home the gold or not, well, the jury's still out on that one. Frustratingly out. In the mean time, I just have to home that I didn't piss off the Russian judge. And that my ass looks great in bike shorts. You know, metaphorically.

Posted by Chris at September 8, 2009 6:08 AM

Because the Russian Judge always gives a 2.2!!!

Posted by: Holly Reynolds at September 8, 2009 6:34 AM

Welcome to my world!

Posted by: Maribeth at September 8, 2009 7:00 AM

Work politics suck.

I was told once that I needed to be more cheery at work because when I am in a bad mood, it affects moral.

Posted by: Jon (was) in Michigan at September 8, 2009 7:29 AM

We are so in the same race.

Posted by: Cass at September 8, 2009 8:31 AM

That totally sucks. I lived in that world for a few years and despised it. I love being back in academia. If it's any consolation, I'm sure you look great in your bike shorts ;)!

Posted by: Elizabeth at September 8, 2009 8:49 AM

The trouble is, my ass just doesn't look all that good in spandex. And there is ALWAYS a Russian judge who is influenced more by gifts of vodka than by talent.

Posted by: Wack-a-do at September 8, 2009 9:19 AM

I just had a discussion with someone this morning about my fear of taking on more responsibility at the workplace. And it's for this very reason. I can't stand it.

Posted by: k8 at September 8, 2009 9:56 AM

I'm just happy I can get my ass in those spandex pants. :-)

Posted by: LeSombre at September 8, 2009 10:03 AM

I'm sure your ass looks just fabulous :P Hope it all goes well for you!!

Posted by: Heather at September 8, 2009 10:13 AM

Keep your eye on the prize. Forget the competition, it sounds they're trying to mentally rattle you which only means they also know that you won. Again, keep your eye on the prize and forget everything else! I'm on Team Cactus!!!

Posted by: laineyDid at September 8, 2009 10:48 AM

Sounds like a job I once had. It created stress where I didn't need it. Now that I'm at a job where competing is more about doing great work and building job security (ha) and less about rank and file, I'm happier. But I do miss the frequent accolades.

Good luck.

Posted by: Brad at September 8, 2009 12:11 PM

I'm just hoping this post isn't referring to your vasectomy.

Posted by: Becky at September 8, 2009 12:47 PM

That sounds just like my job. These days there is so much pressure and changes, it feels like someone is tryig to "push" me off the bike. or a cliff. or both.

Hang in there! :)

Posted by: debb at September 8, 2009 2:48 PM

Sigh, this hit home for me. Good luck. Look forward to hearing your Gold Medal acceptance speech. :)

Posted by: Kristin at September 8, 2009 3:40 PM

Good luck, Chris!

Also, how sad is it that I'm so hard up for a job that I'm JEALOUS OF THE PRESSURE? Oh, my God, this unemployment needs to end.

Posted by: caleal at September 8, 2009 8:26 PM

I like metaphors that involve spandex.

Or, y'know, I might if I heard more than one.

Sorry for the stress. Hope you achieve the desired results, and that at the end of the day the people who need to be satisfied with the results are.

Also - kick ass job on the metaphors. I suck at writing metaphorically. I think it's because I'm lazy.

Posted by: sarah at September 8, 2009 9:56 PM

For what it's worth, you write a MEAN metaphor. I wouldn't think you'd have anything to worry about. But, I wish you the BEST of luck, anyway!

Posted by: Haley-O (Cheaty) at September 9, 2009 12:19 AM

Bottom line, high school is never over. In that the concepts of fair, earning respect, hard work being its own reward, and so on and so on . . . all of these things can be toppled by one jerk who's out to ruin your prom night. Also that a great ass can conquer alot of life's problems.

Good luck, and don't let the monkeys get to you.

Posted by: Sara at September 9, 2009 3:32 AM

Yup completely understand that one! Feeling judged on a plain I am not sure WHY and it ya, it sure doesn't feel good or motivate you...sigh...the weight is heavy on MY shoulders too.

I will tell you what I tell myself. Relax and be yourself.

Posted by: Gypsy at September 9, 2009 9:34 AM

Good luck. I hope you can keep us metaphorically updated.

Posted by: lora at September 9, 2009 3:53 PM

That's quite an extensive metaphor! Doesn't sound particularly pleasant, either... :(

Posted by: Zandria at September 9, 2009 4:27 PM

J'ai pensé qu'il allait y avoir une certaine message ennuyeux, mais c'est vraiment compensé pour mon temps. Je vais poster un lien vers cette page sur mon blog. Je suis sûr que mes visiteurs trouveront que très utile

Posted by: Lancel at November 18, 2011 5:14 AM