That "manager" bit is important because it allows me to retroactively rationalize being callous with so many people. Confession time, Dear Reader: we AM's used to sit around
Mostly, however, we laughed because we were a tight group and absolutely no one – not the Operations Managers above us, not the team leads below us, not the HR lady in whose office we all had had at least one meltdown – knew what it was like, managing that many people in those circumstances for that company.
We received and were responsible for acting upon well over 75 emails a day. Depending on your department ("area"), you probably had an employee not meeting production requirements and therefore had a write up looming, and you definitely had a crisis somewhere that you didn't know about. So while you had people scattered throughout the 700,000 sq. ft. building doing God-knows-what-but-probably-not-what-they're-supposed-to-be, you also had meetings and always a deadline of some sort. It never stopped.
And so being an Area Manager was part cajoling, part data analysis, part grunt work, and part babysitting, and every now and then, an email from three weeks ago would result in you getting smoked by anyone from your OM up to some random MBA in Seattle (a little warehouse manager humor: Q: What does "MBA" stand for? A: "Manages By @&%"). If you somehow didn't adequately think through or respond to what was in your realm of the 'Zon utterly trivial but was a game-changer in someone else's realm, well, it wasn't pretty.
Education, thankfully, is not like that. Sure, sometimes I forget to disseminate an important piece of information to the department, or I'll space a meeting, or at my very worst, I'll forget that a student had provided a perfectly acceptable reason for not turning in an assignment on time, and that the lowered grade in the book is therefore entirely unfair and mean and definitely my fault.
No, education is about soul, and passion for content, and being honest, and being kind to someone because they are alive and fragile and just plain deserve it – everything that was crushed out of me by the competitive, insecure shade of myself that still, occasionally, growls in the corners. Mostly I've got it tamed.
This month marks the 10 year anniversary of my excursion to
I don't miss the 'Zon a whole lot. The place almost drove me completely and thoroughly insane, but that's a story for another post. For now let's leave it at this: my hardest, most exhausting day as a teacher is still far more glorious and rewarding than Amazon ever was, stock options, managerial salary, business cards and all. So on days like today, when I'm absent from class and find out that not all of my students were angels and that some classes clearly read my instructions and some clearly did not, I like to think back to my door desk and break-away lanyard and business cell phone and remember how happy I am to be a teacher.