RESIGNING AS GM
One day I stood up bravely and told a bunch of my friends that I was resigning as General Manager of the Universe. They laughed so hard they were crying. (Sigh!)
Nobody believed me. I didn’t believe me.
My way through the world seems to attract a lot of control freaks of one sort or another, as well as people who seem to want to be told what to do, so it seems that maybe there are lessons there that are mine after all.
Maybe it’s ’cause I do have “issues” about Authority-with-a-capital-A.
It seems to me that the need for control arises out of the fear that what you want is never going to happen unless you, personally, ride herd on the thing and keep it going towards your own personal vision.
It turns your whole road into a battleground, full of other people stepping on your toes, getting in the way and not doing what they’re supposed to. And you go into battle-mode because your fears keep telling you yours ain’t gonna happen.
You waste a whole lot of energy on that one, expending it on trying to get all these people out of your way!
The other part of that, of course, is that all the other guys are also trying to get to their desires and trying to do their vision, and you are in their way. It makes this big, old roiling ball of crisscrossing strings that is an incredible tangle.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT’S SOLUTION
I suppose you could do Alexander’s Gordian Knot move where you whack the thing with a big old sword and bully your way on through.
The problem with that solution is you leave behind broken strings all over the ground and those strings are, every one of them, aka threads — the connections between everything in the Universe with everything else in the Universe.
They lie there writhing like a whole bunch of dying worms. Not a pretty picture.
Alexander, called The Great, left a mountain of skulls wherever he went. He died early, having attained his vision, and failing to come up with some other one to take its place.
He brought great changes to his world and people learned new ways of walking as a result, and the world kept on going, growing, developing.
Alexander was also a catalyst that shook things up good, and maybe that was the gift he carried into the World. The aka threads that Alexander cut reconnected, grew together in other ways and kept on keeping on.
Alexander, of course, was still dead but he got written up in all kinds of history books and like that and his life story gets inflicted on every wannabe billionaire who lives today.
I’m still working on it. So’s the rest of the world…..
Here’s a YouTube video featuring the thoughts of philosopher Alan Watts, “Let Go Of Controlling Everything.” It was published by HDvids101.
And here’s a poem:
He says he’s ready to quit:
He’s tired of the b.s. heaped on his head,
Tired of your issues and your wah-wah-wahs,
Tired of chaos and confusion.
He wants off this job that drags on and on,
An interminable rondel that goes ’round and ’round,
Apparently without end.
He’s tried, he says, tried and tried,
But it feels like he’s herding lemmings,
Trying to keep the little guys
From throwing themselves off some high plateau
Onto the rocks edging the shining sea below.
Every time he gets one cluster of lemmings headed right,
The other guys make a break for it…
Aiming for that seductive edge of nihilistic angst.
It’s come to a head all right…
(Or some more earthy organ that’s
unmentionable in polite company.)
So, he comes to me…
‘Cause I’m Da Boss, right?
I am in charge – Big Mama to the forefront…
Little “g,” in control…uh-huh.
The job’s three-quarters done and he’s feeling done-in.
And me…I’m standing here flat-footed,
Looking at this thing that’s becoming
A cut-rate model for some stupid government contract –
Complete with asinine road blocks,
Replete with meaningless detour signs and side-trips into the absurd.
I am NOT dancin’ now.
I am standing here scratching my head.
I’ve gotta wonder:
Do I LOOK like a branch of Head-Trip International?
Am I the Bureau of Eat-Shit or something?
This is NOT the How!
Me, all I want is Done.
And it is on you, my braddah…
I backed you, and it looks like you are playin’ games!
You do not have my back
And that wind blowin’ up it is getting COLD.
So I’m just sayin’…and I’m saying this LOUD:
Tita is risin’…and it ain’t lookin’ good!
by Netta Kanoho
Header Picture Credit: Defying the Gordian Knot by GollyGForce – Living My Worst Nightmare via Flickr [CC BY-2.0]
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24 thoughts on “RESIGNING AS GM”
Saw this page when I am at a very difficult time at my job. On one end I hated my job, on the other end, I need the job to survive and to feed my parents. I hated the job as there are too much control from the authority aka my bosses. There are simply too much micro management from the top and sometimes I wish I could use a sword to bully my way out but I simply can’t. I’m an old tattered soul trapped in a broken body 🙁
Auwe, Leo! You are definitely sounding like you are stuck in suck. I am sorry. The I Ching points out that you do need to pay attention when you are suffering over your suffering. I find if I can let go of THAT part and focus on the good I am doing, the merit I earn for my actions (whether other people see it or not), then it gets easier to do what I must.
Endurance is sometimes the only option…but, things change. They always change. Trust that the change will happen, remove the resistances you hold towards that possibility and when the change happens, you will be ready to move as you must to get to better.
Thanks for your visit and your story. Please do come again….
I am not a micromanager but my job is currently micromanaging my life. I feel constrained and sometimes it is literally hard to breathe. The piece of your poem that talks about he’s ready to quit and that the work feels like herding lemmings resonates with me. I have to keep my team mates from quitting while hiding my own struggle. Its nice to know that I am not alone.
Thank you for your visit and your story. Yeesh! It do get hairy sometimes, don’t it? Keep on trucking, brah! It does end, the work does get done, and then it’s on to other adventures. Please do come again….
Many of us really get to a point when we hate our jobs, but the fear of survival to provide for our families will always envelop us. I remember hating my job so much that I became reluctant to leave home in the mornings.
Oh, how I wished for a change. You rightly said in your poem, “He wants off this job that drags on and on,”
reminds me of those rough times. I enjoy your poem.
Thanks for the visit and for sharing your story. It is a hard one, that. Hating what you do for a third or more of the hours of your life really is no fun. The only antidote to those blues is working on an escape plan, I’ve found.
Please do come again….
This speaks very loudly with me! Thank you for posting!
We all have those moments that feel like they are choking us. A job we can’t escape, a car payment that we HAVE to pay or even a spouse that won’t let up… Micromanagement is a real struggle in the world as well as the way we handle it.. Thanks for your insight!
Hey Jason: Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts. I do appreciate it.
Please do come again….
Thanks for doing this article, I personally am not working at any business, and I hope I don´t have to in the end because I really want to work on my own terms, having my own business and having control my own time and get to do whatever I want whenever I want. But I know sometimes it might be difficult to work at a job that no one likes but in the end everything will go alright.
Thanks for the visit and for sharing your thoughts, Barbara. I do appreciate it.
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If I have Alexander the great’s sword right now, I would definitely wield it to maneuver my way out of all these commotions that have ransacked my life. Seriously, having control over everything comes with serious responsibilities and It is killing sometimes. I guess I need to resign from being the one that has to be in control of anything happening around me. I picked quite a few poins from the beautiful poem. Thanks
Hee! I hear ya, RoDarrick!
There are times when you just want to whack something!
Thanks for the visit and for sharing your story.
Please do come again….
Management can get pretty tough, especially when you feel like you are micromanaging your life in all aspects of how we choose to live. I am always on my toes on how to manage my home life and work life. They both play such a significant role in my life, but then have the drawbacks of trying to do everything.
“You do not have my back
And that wind blowin’ up it is getting COLD”
This is the part of the poem that spoke to me the most. So many times, I thought people had my back in personal/professional life, but it wasn’t to be. You live and learn I guess.
Thanks for the visit, Jagi, and for sharing your thoughts.
You are right. My biggest downer is always when the people I thought had my back really didn’t. I used to go through conniptions about it all the time…until I realized that the conniption part is like interest you pay on a bad loan.
The best counter for it, I’ve found, is to trust that the person really did try the best they could in those circumstances. Even if they did not, I still give them that — mostly ’cause otherwise I have to own up to the fact that I made a serious error in judgment, which just brings it on back to me. (Sigh!)
The other counter is to not take what anybody else does personally. This is a very hard discipline to follow. It also is the only one that lets you get ON with your own life without investing any more energy in somebody else’s head games.
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Sometimes it can seem very attractive to just throw the towel in and say I am done with this gig, no matter what position you may have, but if you bull your way through it can have some positive effects for you and then you can leave on a high note and for the right reasons.
I went through that a long time ago, as I was pondering and wavering on retiring from the military after 25 years of active duty. I was offered the chance to stay in my current position and job for 5 more years, DA (central management for my specialty in Washington, D.C.) said that I could either retire at 25 or they would force me to stay for 30 years.
At that time I was in an influential position and one that was involved in many of the conflicts of that era. I have been retired for 20 years now, so that tells you how long ago that was. But it was an easy decision in many ways, as I had prepared myself in most ways for life after the Army.
Nonetheless, it was with mixed feelings that I finally gave up the uniform and position. But I did have a sense of a weight lifted from my shoulders too, and I went on to do many other things that interested me that I could not do as a soldier. I have not looked back and resignation was a great decision in hindsight! Good post, brought back memories! Onwards and upwards is my mantra these days!
A lovely story, Dave. Thanks for sharing it (and for your visit).
You’re right. Very often, going or staying in a situation is a matter of preparedness. Leaving on a high note and for the right reasons is always a better move, I think, and worth the extra tsuris of having to hang in there until you get to the place where you can step off the train.
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I have experienced this part of life more times than one, it hurts so bad working from 8 to 6pm daily with little pay and large amount of mortgage to pay and lots of responsibilities, several times I’ve tried quitting but the unavailability of jobs I’m honestly scared of quitting until now, just hope I break through, I’m open to any ideas or advice you may have for me. Thanks
Thanks for the visit and for sharing your story, SeunJeremiah. It sounds like you’re going through a rough spot right now.
The thing is, the only one who can change up things in your life is you.
My way of dealing with situations where I am in the middle of suck and when I am afraid that any move I make will take me over the edge of some cliff or something is to just STOP.
I sit down. I think on and WRITE DOWN every single dissatisfying thing about my life. I go through every single one and really get into doing a pity-party poo’-t’ing-me sort of list. I just go to town on them — getting ridiculously detailed and absolutely wah-wah-wah about it.
Then I go through all the parts I want to keep in my life, the good stuff that adds meaning to my life and I write THEM down too.
I stick the things in a drawer and let them stew for a week or two. I don’t think about them. I just slog, slog, slog and get through my day any which way I can.
And then I take out both lists and re-read them.
I ask myself: “How do I get more of the good stuff into my life? What bad stuff can I affect? How can I disappear those things?”
I make notes all over my first two lists.
I write down my conclusions and the different options I could choose to do.
I make a list of actions — stuff that will only take me five or ten minutes at most to complete. No big, massive, hectic moves. Just things like one phone call to somebody who might have an answer to a question, or looking up a schedule of classes or events that might be a help or doing a google search for more information and so on and so forth.
I take that list of actions and then I start doing them — one after the other after the other. I do one from the “good,” warm-and-fuzzy pile and one from the yuck pile every single day.
I let the actions lead me to other actions.
As I do those actions, I look for other small things I can do to keep doing my walk and I put them on my action list.
Every time I do one action, I mark it off my list. Over and over, day after day. After a while, things start shifting, all on their own. It’s weird, but it works.
Hope that helps.
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I read an interesting article the other day that human nature likes to be told what to do. That is why you see of of these powerful people succumb to the bdsm. I find that to be very interesting but just cannot imagine allowing myself to torture others to get joy out of it. But, yet again, I am in no position of a high power lol.
Anyways, back to the topic, thanks for sharing that YouTube video. I am going to let go and control less as well.
Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Nuttanee. You do make me smile. (You pointed out one of the best advantages for NOT being the person in charge. Hee!)
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This article made me laugh out loud and also sigh as I can relate way too well. I guess we all want to be steering the ship and feel that everyone else is in our way. You just have to get clever at nudging people in the right direction.
I think Alexander would have been a horrible man to deal with and I’m glad he isn’t living now although I see echoes of him in many of my past bosses and partners. Unfortunately, it comes with a huge ego that tells them they can do no wrong and it doesn’t really matter how annoying, scary and rude they are, they are entitled.
In the end, this attitude doesn’t really work as no one wants to be around them and eventually they get told and people leave! Ha Ha
Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Lily. You make me smile right back at ya!
I do agree that the Alexander-clones in my life have also come with huge egos and a box of tickets to ride all over everybody they meet (until somebody punctures their bubble, grabs all the tickets, and starts a bonfire).
I have come to the conclusion that recovering GMs just naturally morph into revolutionaries and rebels. How not?
Please do come again….
Thank you for the great article Netta, I am glad I got to read it.
In my experience, people who feel they need to control every situation are usually not actually so worried about the situation at hand as they are their own security where ever they happen to find themselves. The hard part is recognizing what we can and can not control.
Thanks again. Do you think you can give us more commentary like the part about the strings writhing like worms? I really enjoyed that!
Okay, Joseph. Remember, you asked for this….
A number of ancient traditions visualize the connections between all of the everything in the universe as living, lively strings that some esoteric sorts call “aka threads.” These strings are invisible, they say, and they are everywhere. The “aka threads” are part of the mysterious mechanism that ties us to the world and to each other and to every other thing in the universe.
The “aka threads”, they say, are how the movement of one butterfly’s wings is supposed to be able to cause a hurricane build-up halfway around the world, and a reminder of how every action we take is likely to have unforeseen consequences.
For real, this is a heavy-duty visualization and if you really get into the mind-games it can engender, those games can severely cramp your style if you’re a caring sort. It might make you too scared to move at all or it might move you to try to take control of the world around you in an attempt to get past all the ambiguity and uncertainty it calls up.
(On the other hand, if you’re like Alexander and you don’t mind, it won’t matter. Letting the chips fall where they may is a popular and very common strategy.)
That is often the problem with most of the spirit traditions that begin with the practice of walking lightly in this old world. The only antidote to the paralysis induced by the power of making choices and of the underlying laws surrounding cause-and-effect, apparently, is an open heart.
This way of walking can lead to some very counter-intuitive and paradoxical ways of thinking and moving, it seems.
And, probably, the heart you keep open to the winds of the world will get battered a lot as it faces the ambiguity of Life-Its-Own-Self. It’s one of the prices you pay for trying to walk in the Real rather than in this consensus world of ours.
The thing is, you can’t effectively shape your own world without this sort of balancing act.
You might want to take a gander in the “About” section of this website and check out my Ho’o-cyle explanations and the assorted exercises and examples there. Here’s the link: https://lifebuiltpoems.com/abo…
Please do come again.