Friday, February 1, 2008


It has been a rough week, but I can't complain. Duck season is over, and the office work has to re-start in earnest. This week I have worked in the office on internal audits, grant applications, grant reports, letters to our wetland project name it. Ro and I got out yesterday to monitor some projects we built in 2007 in Maryland and Delaware - just to make sure they are actually working as habitat. Yesterday, there was ice on all of them, so no birds, but the habitat is there.

The above project is in the Delaware Bay drainage, and will be managed to provide bugs and mud for migrating shorebirds in April of every year. It gets flooded about 24" deep in the winter....coincidentally making it an outstanding duck hole. Which of course, is why the landowner ultimately agreed to let us flood up his cornfield. I know it looks like a lake, but trust me, it is all shallow.

OK - back to grown-up land: Lessons I have learned this week:
  • Communication may not solve any single problem, but at least it stops the bleeding. There are a million other metaphors I could use.
  • If there is a problem, ultimately, someone will be held responsible. Fairly or unfairly, that someone will either be someone who recently quit or fired, or someone who is experiencing other problems at work.
  • If you have fixed a problem or conflict, it suddenly gives you great leeway to talk about the source of the problem.
  • If you are TRYING to fix a problem or conflict, shut the hell up until it's fixed! The people responsible WILL be held accountable, and YOU will be at the helm....give it time!
  • Give it time! People are not as dumb as you or I may believe. Sometimes it just takes a lot of solid evidence for people to change their mind from their old preconceived notions about another person's value or abilities (good or bad).

The last one has been a difficult one for me to learn, as I watch (like in any workplace) overachievers get minimal respect, while folks who do very little, continue to barely skate by, with very few consequences. I'm starting to see, after 10 years in this field, that it all evens out....given enough time. I'm starting to actually believe that. It has nothing to do with "fair" and a lot to do with "hard work" and "patience."

Y'all have a great weekend. The honey-do list piled up during late duck season, so I will be spending the next few days hanging trim, installing TV's, and similar fun stuff.

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