Monday, August 15, 2016

Boss Lady

A little background:
At my prison, we have a multi-level supervision system. I supervise a team of line staff and then there are two chief psychologists above me. One of those is the chief of mental health (sort of a boss's boss). Above that person is the CEO. It's a paramilitaristic system, but like paramilitary lite because we're healthcare.

We've had a string of chief of mental healths over the past couple years. Most recently, my direct supervisor was made chief and he promptly put in his notice. I have a lot of feelings about it because he's been amazing and has been an anchor for me since I promoted.

So there's obviously a lot of other thoughts and feelings that are really only relevant or interesting if you actually work with me. I despise shop talk, so we'll skip all that. Thursday, the CEO called me into his office and asked if I would take on the chief of mental health position until they were able to hire into it. I immediately said "No." Firstly, C would kill me. Then, he'd kill me again. There was no way that we'd be able to manage me working more hours. We added sitters as a line item this month because we can barely manage where we're at. And I politely offered to think about it and then walked out. A few hours later he called me back to his office to let me know that the chief psychiatrist had offered to share some duties with me, ensuring that more days than not I'd be able to work a normal schedule.

And that's how I accidentally became my boss's boss. There's no timeline associated with it, so it could be a few months or even longer. I have almost no idea what I'm doing, and I naively have decided to try to keep my program on top of this (so I have somewhere to go back to when it's over.) BUT, I have a parking space and an assistant which feels very real and adult-y, even if I park my hoopty full of fishing gear in my spot and have absolutely no idea what to do with an assistant.Right now my main goal is to not let the place burn to the ground. Two days in and so far so good!

It's an awesome opportunity for me and I'm fairly certain I'm not going to suck. I'm attending a conference with the chiefs from across the state in a few weeks which will be a chance to get to know a lot of influential people. I'm hopeful that we can make some positive changes in the position and it really is a chance for me to make this place somewhere I can see working for the next 10 years (yay PSLF...)