Supervising in purgatory

Beyond all apparent reasons of logic, I was given a supervisory role recently. For whatever reasons, all I can think of for supervisory role models are Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan and Jon Hamm as Donald Draper in Mad Men. At least I’m thinking in the cocktail era.

Perhaps it’s my own underlying feelings of general inadequacy— in work, in parenthood, in writing, in playing softball — but all Laurie at Punk Rock HR needed was four words to describe what I’m feeling: “Ur Doin It Wrong.” Yep.

Maybe it’s a function of not feeling fully grown up, somehow. When I was a kid, 37 seemed beyond grown up. I turned 11 the year my dad was 37, and he seemed plenty grown up to me. Hell, even the aforementioned, if fictional (and not really the best role model), Don Draper is right around that age. So how is it that I still have a hard time seeing myself now, at age 37, the same way I used to view other “grown ups” — though, truth be told, people in real life (as opposed those on to TV shows) around my own age don’t seem any more grown up than I do (or don’t). Not that I feel like a kid anymore; far from it. But it’s a sort of purgatory; neither here, nor there.

Is it a function of having poorly defined career goals? I want to write for a living, but I like to eat, too. And I like supporting my family (or, at least, half-supporting — Mrs. Icepick works, too, and we’re making about the same bucks). I like having and meeting responsibilities, but I somehow feel like I don’t meet them very well.

Is it a function of what Laurie writes of, in not achieving the results she’s hoping for in life and work? Is it a function of our generation? Or do I simply not have clear-enough results in my mind to shoot for to begin with?


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