In the job I am in, I find myself in a position of responsibility for others as well as myself. Sometimes it is very rewarding, when people are complimenting you and thanking you for the work your team has managed to get done, praise I always ensure reaches those who have done the work. I still feel pride as I have had a hand in the building of this team, however there are days like I have had recently with one member of the team. Troubled to the point of not managing to turn up on time, over sleeping so that he rushes into work with un-ironed shirt (military doesn’t let you get away with that). Now he has been in long enough to realise he is going to get more grief for turning up like that, than for calling me at 0750 when he woke up, apologising and getting himself ready properly before he turns in to work.
I am now playing agony uncle to a man the same age as me who is now looking at a custodial sentence (only 10 days, but military 10 days). He cannot see that this would be an ideal opportunity for him to get his head straight and think through what he wants to do, all he can see is JAIL! I want to help him more, but feel inadequately prepared for this, we get trained in a lot of things in the military, we even get told situations like this can and will happen. However we never receive training for this, or any kind of counselling training whatsoever. I know from first hand experience that counselling services are supplied through various agencies like SSAFA, Benevolent Funds, Royal British Legion and through service sources like DCMH (Department of Community Mental Health) and all of these services are effective and they do great work, but not everyone wants to speak to a professional shrink, sometimes they just want to speak to someone. I am not the most sympathetic person in the world, I can just about manage understanding, but that is my limit. There is a point where I want people to be realistic and logical, unfortunately I usually reach that point light years ahead of when the person I am talking to reaches it or even thinks about reaching for it.
So how do I deal with someone who has brought a situation on himself, doesn’t like the consequences and is now moping around the office worried about “what if’s” (I sense a recurring theme in my writing!) Nothing has been confirmed yet, fortunately in trying to tell him to “Plan for the worst, hope for the best” I muddled it and ended up saying “Plan for the best, hope for the worst” which made him laugh, so I am off the hook for a bit.
Solutions on a postcard please!