There is something that happens to us every year and it's something I dread.
Every year, someone who has been a Rock for us in previous years, hits a very hard place in their personal life and they are no longer able to continue doing the work they were doing. I'm not talking about "Flaky Pagans" here, I'm talking about the times this happens to great and good people, people we could always count on to do a wonderful job. People we like a lot.
Sometimes I have to be the bearer of bad news for them and take some items off their Action List. Sometimes they drop out on their own when they realize that they are overwhelmed. It's best for all concerned if they don't do this at the last minute, but I have no control over that.
This year, two people have just had to resigned from their positions in the last two weeks. Both are experienced well loved members of the team. I can't tear my hair out over this, I just have to move forward and keep the group working on task. We release these good people with blessings and wish them all the best.
Sometimes I have to remove some Action Items from a person's list and frankly, it's hard. It means more work for me, or finding someone else to do the job, which means searches, interviews and training - again, more work for me.
The person we're replacing is often a champion, a real "Doer", but even these types can't do everything. Life can add some pretty important things to our "To Do" list. Life likes to do this at the "worst" possible moment. (1)
I don't mind stepping up when life throws something unexpected at someone. I do mind doing it in the cases when a person's life choices cause them challenges that in turn become problems for FCE - there's a difference there, and it's an important one. Everyone has problems but no one has any right to let their problems become our problems. But when someone experiences a sudden crisis, like being laid off, or the illness of a family member, I understand, and I make sure that the staff do, too.
This is Priest and Priestess work we do here, and our people have a right to expect fairness and support from us. What they can't expect, is for us to carry their own life's burdens. Trying to do that for them is disrespectful and detrimental to everyone's growth, so we do a lot of talking about boundaries around here.
Sometimes a tornado does come through and it drops a house on a Good Witch. (Often this is the time when they hit their Saturn Return.) Then it's my job to step in and make sure that the work gets done one way or another. I do this with care, compassion and respect. If the person in question then gets back "on game", as most do, they are welcome to take back their responsibilities in later years. Some few who drop the ball carelessly, or have developed bad attitudes are never invited back. That's very rare, thank goodness.
Anyway, the House-Dropping-On-Good-People situation has come up with staff members I have counted on (and, often, cared about) seven other times in the last four years. When this happens it means further burdens on the Senior Staff at a time when we can least afford it.
This is something the new Senior Staff have never had to deal with before and it is eye opening for some.
My job right now is to look for more help, keep people on task and try not to overdo it myself. At this point, I ask the Powers That Be to help us and stay out of the results. Oh look! They just sent me someone with experience (seemingly at random - go figure) who can help with advertising, a job that one of our people could no longer do. Thank you!
ahemm....Universe....are you listening? I could use two more really good people right now.
(1) I put that word in quotes because Life has different ideas than we do. Is something really the "worst" thing that can happen to us, or really the best. Life also has different ideas about timing, too. You learn to laugh about this or you die.