Saturday, April 14, 2007

People not programs

"You have to say no to something!" my co-worker told me the other day as I had a mini-meltdown in her office.

Perhaps that is true. The problem is, when I have to decide what to say "no" to, the choice often becomes between people or programs.

I like building relationships with people. People and relationships are what I believe makes our programs as good as they are.

The world of outcomes, in combination with cutbacks that cause us to do the job of 2-3 people, takes away the time I have to spend with people. That frustrates me.

Helping kids edit research papers, giving random "you-can-do-it" encouragement talks to teenagers who express fears about taking their SAT, strategizing with seniors when their parent refuses to get tax forms so they can apply to college, chit-chatting with parents, participating in parent meetings, attending ballet recitals, watching step shows, and so many other things.......none of that is my "job" anymore. Yet, without those time consuming activities, I wouldn't be effective at what I do.

Maybe I do need to say no more often. But if I say no, I can't leave out the people.
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