Office Gossip Part 1: The Build Up, aka Someone Save BOB™ & Give Him the Freedom to Change!Jan 17, 2022
This week, I’ll be taking on a different approach and acting out the first scene in a three-act production with some of my most beloved characters.
The Players: BOB, BABs (BOB’s best friend/coworker), Ariel (BOB’s wife), and Katie (aka me, The Boss)
Scene One: BOB and his wife, Ariel, are together and talking. BOB is venting his frustrations, and his wife, Ariel, is a voice of reason. So enter Ariel...
Ariel: Hey, BOB, how was work?
BOB: Uh, honestly, I'm just feeling so burnt out.
Ariel: Really? When did you start feeling that way?
BOB: I've been feeling it for months. I keep trying to just push it down and push through. But lately, I find myself tired, uninspired, stressed. I really love what I do and I know I'm good at it, but something just doesn't fit anymore, and I'm not really sure how to fix it. I've tried a lot of things, and I know I'm lucky to have this gig. Past versions of me would be so disappointed in how I feel that I'm not more grateful. I feel like a jerk, and so many people depend on me.
Ariel: Oh, don't judge yourself so harshly. Tell me more about why you feel stressed and uninspired.
BOB: Well, I guess there are two separate things with the lack of inspiration. I just feel tied down to structure. I'm not able to just flow anymore like it was in the beginning. But at the same time, this is what the people need. They need my structure.
Ariel: Do they?
BOB: I think so.
Ariel: If they had to choose between your inspiration or your structure, which do you think would serve them best?
BOB: Hmm, that's a good point, dear.
Ariel: And BOB, what is it that makes you stressed? Why are you feeling stressed? Tell me more about that.
BOB: Well, I guess my focus is just shifting, even though my schedule is so flexible, I find myself wanting even more freedom like limitless amounts of freedom. I don't want to have a calendar or be responsible for anything anymore. I want to really come and go as I please. I am so keenly aware of any personal time I'm sacrificing right now that even though I love what I do, and even though not too much is being asked of me, the sacrifice of my personal time and not being completely obligation-free is starting to fill me with daily dread.
Ariel: Well, BOB, what would you do if anything were possible?
BOB: Oh, I'd pack my bags, list this house on Airbnb. Turn off my phone. Throw away my calendar and you, me, and the kids would Airbnb hop. We'd start on an island, but the national parks would be next. I've always wanted to do that.
Ariel: Well, I'm game. What's stopping you? Is it money?
BOB: No, I'm so grateful that it's not money. I just feel like everyone depends on me. I'm so fortunate for that, too. But lately, the pressure is really heavy. I don't want to be that necessary.
Ariel: Well, you know I love you, BOB. But if your heart isn't in it anymore, are they even getting the version of you they need?
BOB: Hmm, that's worth considering.
Ariel: You know, I'll support you no matter what you choose, I'm here to talk it through some more, but I really challenge you to start thinking of what's possible instead of what's required and don't shove those feelings down. That never gets you anywhere. Your feelings are a compass. When you feel bad, you're going in the wrong direction.
Scene Two: BOB and BABs, his office bestie. (This is a play on my character BABs from the program Become a Bookkeeper. And just a little bit about BABs before you get into it, as she's super type A. That also makes her a little bit of a worrywart.) Alright, so here comes BABs...
BABs: Hey, BOB, get ready for the busy season again. I can't believe how quickly it comes up every time.
BOB: Hey, BABs, I have to be honest, my heart really isn't in it this season. Lately, I can't stop thinking about being completely obligation-free, retiring, and just living life off the grid. My wife and I were talking about it last night. It's getting harder to fight the feeling.
BABs: Oh BOB, we need you. Plus, you love what you do. You're always the first to say it.
BOB: Don't worry, BABs. You know I care too much about you all to leave you high and dry. I'll push through this season for sure, but honestly, I'm not sure how much longer I have in me.
BABs: Maybe you just need a vacation?
Scene Three: This is with BABs and me, Katie, The Boss. So again, here comes BABs...
BABs: Hey, Katie, can I talk to you for a second?
Katie: Sure, BABs, anytime, but this doesn't sound good. Are you OK?
BABs: Yeah, I'm OK. It's just— it's BOB.
Katie: What about BOB?
BABs: Well, I really shouldn't be saying this. I'm just worried about him, and I'm worried about the team. Promise me you won't say anything?
Katie: You're worrying me. Whatever it is, you know you can tell me.
BABs: Well, earlier today I was just making small talk, and he mentioned being burnt out. He said he can't stop thinking about living off the grid. Honestly, I'm always seeing him on Airbnb, reading and browsing unique stays. The other day, he was showing me houseboats. You can rent houses on cliffs and even tree houses. Sometimes he talks about road tripping the West Coast and visiting the national parks, but today it just sounded different. He said he doesn't know how much more he has in him. He said he'd stay through this season, but what if he quits? What will we do? We can't do it without BOB.
Katie: I think you should talk to him. Maybe he just needs a vacation.
BABs: I suggested that. He didn't say no.
Katie: I can sort of see that in his behavior. He still does a great job, but I could tell something was bothering him. I just didn't know it was that.
BABs: Are you going to talk to him?
Katie: I'm not sure. From what I know about BOB, he's capable of reaching his decision and he knows he always has a safe space with me. I think I'll just give him time and space. When he's ready, he'll come to me.
BABs: Aren't you worried?
Katie: I'd hate to see BOB go, but I'd also hate for him to be here if his heart isn't in it. He deserves more than that, don't you think?
BABs: I guess I just, what will we do?
Katie: It will work out. It always does, doesn't it?
BABs: I guess so.
Katie: What about you? How are you doing here, BABs?
BABs: I'm great, never better. I have long-term plans, and I think that's why this is bothering me so much. I hate to be selfish, but I'm really attached to BOB.
Katie: I'm glad you're happy here. It's so good to have you. We all love BOB, but it'll be OK. Let's be patient and see how it unfolds.
BABs: I wish I could be so zen about this.
(A Lesson in Trust: The Bottomline)
Katie: You can. It's a choice. Just trust the process.
I hope you all enjoyed me getting creative and are excited for the next installment! Be sure to join us next week to see how the story unfolds in Office Gossip Part 2: The Confrontation.
Will BOB take a much-needed vacation? Will he up and quit out of frustration? Will the team survive without BOB by their side?
Tune in next week for all of these answers, and more...
Ready to take “action” (get it)? Apply for the program that's right for you:
If you're looking for more insight on how to become a bookkeeper, and how to say hello to a more confident business model, enroll in Become A Bookkeeper (BABs).
Or, if you’re confident in your skills as a bookkeeper and want to learn how to grow and scale your bookkeeping business, you can apply for Booked Out Bookkeeper™ (BOB).
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