When you start out with something new, you get the feeling that the gloves are finally off, there are fewer limitations, options that were closed are now available. When you’re the one turning the lights on for the first time, you get to start out with a very minimal rule set… and life is good because you have unrestricted freedom of action. You’re trusted unconditionally to do your part and do it well. What the handbook doesn’t tell you is that this window starts to close almost the moment it is open. Nature abhors a vacuum… and soon enough the rules, policies, and procedures start to close in around you in order to fill that vacuum. Eventually, a real organization structure starts to form and your available courses of action are further limited. The next thing you know, you end up having to pass through systems checks and untold wickets to get approval for everything from travel to ordering pens and paper.
For me, I guess this is the part where it stops being fun. I find myself casting longing backwards glances at a past that really was as close to the wild west as you’re likely to see in any part of a giant bureaucracy. It was a time when the only thing that mattered was getting the job done and not worrying too much about the ways and means of getting there. I miss being a “free agent” in the system and I’m feeling increasingly frustrated by the inherent constraints within a maturing operation. So for now I’m struggling to manage my expectations and sort out what the new normal is going to look like. In the meantime, we all get to experience the pure joy that is an angsty, vaguely hostile, generally agitated, and somewhat sleep-deprived Jeff.
OK, so most of those things are situation normal for me, but still, things are going to be downright unpleasant until I get my head in the right place. Have fun with that, because it should make for some interesting reading.