I’m in Madison for IV’s Spring Meetings where managers, coordinators & up gather. I’m here for the final piece of my training as a regional coordinator.
Were doing an ongoing 7 hour simulation where we mimic the set up a manager overseeing his/her staff team. Straight away I thought, “Oh Lord please don’t let me be assigned to the role of the Area Director in the simulation.”
And, what do you know, I was one of the few taking the responsibility of an Area Director.
I begged, I pleaded, I got nowhere.
And then I just freaked out. I started sweating & rambling on about how I’m not an Area Director in real life, how I don’t think like one, how I don’t even know the right questions to ask and how the idea of thinking and acting like an Area Director for 7 hours really stressed me out.
Then I said, “I think I’m going to start crying,” and everyone laughed because they thought I was trying to be cute and funny to get my way. But no, it was for real. My nose tingled, my eyes welled up and I paraded on about how I just arrived last night at midnight, Rhys woke me up at 5:30a, I’m alone with them, I’m stressed, I’m exhausted. I’m nursing for crying out loud! It is so. Distracting.
(I.E. Have you ever had a child sucking, gurgling and chomping on your breast in a business meeting while you are trying to pay attention, trying to make sure you are not flashing people, trying to get your hair out of said child’s fingers, trying not to let sweat ruin your make-up & trying to take notes? It’s flipping freaking exhausting).
And then as everyone looked at me as if to say, “get over it,” I decided to suck it up and push through to what may be the crappiest Area Director training simulation that IV Spring Meetings has ever seen.
I’m still not sure if my strong response today was chalked up to being a) over traveled (Atlanta, Mexico & Wisconsin in three weeks) b) tired due to Rhys keeping me awake for the past two nights c) jet-lagged –still adjusting to 3 time zone changes in 3 days d) frustrated – why did they pick me, the only non-Area Director in the room to simulate an Area Director?? OR e) just plain old scared of failing and looking stupid.And, for good measure, f) I wore heels today! Soooo stupid!
Maybe it’s a combination of 6 options plus another irrational one: g) did they put me in this position in the simulation as one of three minorities in the room to the benefit of the white staff in the room who will need to learn to work over & under minority supervision?
I hesitate to mention this one, because I am decidedly emotional and tired, with a pinch of irrational. On top of which, accusing anyone in InterVarsity of using my ethnicity to my detriment is just non-sensical…. I trust IV people more than any set of people in the whole world.
As my mind flooded with reasons a) – f) of why I should be able to have a different role in the simulation I began to sweat. When I sweat due to a stressful circumstance that’s when I know I’m above what I can handle with foresight and calm perspective. I don’t sweat. I ran a marathon and didn’t sweat.
But here I was faced with being an Area Director for 7 hours in a simulation and I began to sweat. Also, cry.
I think I may have been officially freaking out.
When I called Dave –my voice of reason & advocate in all things InterVarsity- I hoped he’d be angry and demand they move me around.
Instead, he offered practical advice, wise insight about why they placed me in that role and tips on how to carry it out successfully. Some husband.
Never what I want, but always what I need.
Yes, I am tired, emotional, drained, etc. but the most salient issue to day is: I hate to be faced with failure. I.E. “Oh look, there’s Grace the one couldn’t even figure out how to be an Area Director in a simple simulation! Let’s laugh at her failures!” (Although, who would do this right? See, I told you… I’m irrational like a mug).
And sure, I could make the whole simulation crappy today, but does that determine my worth? Does that make me more or less suited for my actual position as a regional coordinator?
No & no.
Does it reflect poorly on me?
Only if I give up.
Come hell or high water, let the simulation begin…