It was Dilly’s sister and new brother-in-law’s wedding reception yesterday – they’d got married abroad – so Al and Dilly were out until late, and then I stayed chatting for a while. That has to be my excuse for how late I got up – I woke at 7.30, it was dim and wet out, so I went back to sleep, for a very long time. And even when I woke, I spent quite some time solving iassociate clues until my phone battery was about to run down – which I take as God’s way of telling me that it’s time to get up.
The weather did improve, so I cycled in to town to do the weekend shopping. £40 and three shops, all around the Buttercross, and I was sorted with the necessities.
I’ve got a situation I’ve got to try to get sorted within the next few days…
When I agreed to become chairman of governors, I did a quick self-evaluation to the Head, because I thought it would be useful for him to know where he was. I did a run-down of what I could do well, reasonably and what I skim over, and what not to expect of me, and explained where I really don’t do well. And the thing I really hate is, when I talk through a problem with someone, agree on a way forward, and then the other person doesn’t do it. I’m then at a loss.
In this case, it’s a specific thing; either it has been done or it hasn’t, and it hasn’t, so at least I can say so, but sometimes it’s something less tangible. And then, I find it hard to sort out. Because I genuinely hate to keep on and on. I explain, I will say what’s wrong, ask for the other view, try to sort things out, make concessions and come to an agreement and keep my part of it. But sometimes that’s it, the other person either doesn’t really get it or has just fobbed me off, with no intention of doing anything at all. And I haven’t got a happily relaxed husband of 37 years standing (well, I do encourage him to lie down too) by nagging him, and I don’t want to do it to anyone else. But what can one do?
One little for instance of a tangible thing, which I can deal with. We were having some building work done years ago, and an end wall was going to be plastered over. But I loved those Tudor bricks, so I suggested they be left exposed. The builder didn’t care for the idea. So we discussed and negotiated, and agreed that the ones hidden by a cupboard should be covered and the ones in a passageway should be left. The Sage and I went out and, after the builder had left, came back to discover he’d plastered the entire wall. Furious, I insisted that all the plasterboard would come down and I’d have it as I had wanted it in the first place. We became good friends later, and I explained that I’d compromised, but he’d only said he would – so the compromise was off and I’d have it as I’d wanted in the first place. And he took my point, though why he couldn’t have done so in the first place is something I didn’t ask.
Behaviour is a different and less easy to quantify matter. And I hope you know the sort of thing I mean, because it’ll be difficult to be too specific. But let’s say you’ve got a level of hierarchy – me on top (ahem) with A next, over B, C and D. B, C and D, all reasonable and hard-working people, come to me and say that they are finding A very difficult to work with. So, as they ask me to, I discuss the matter tactfully with A and A agrees that changes will be made in managerial approach, and then I have a meeting with A, B, C and D to discuss and confirm it all. But things carry on just as before … that’s when I find it hard – actually, now I’d put in success criteria, which might be a bit jargonesque but at least give you something to evaluate and give the other person something to have to justify.
Anyway, that’s all going back a few years, and the situation now is much more clear-cut. But it still involves me repeating myself and I’ve explained the state of affairs in full already. So it’s a bit of a nuisance.