You'd be surprised.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

My Army V.1

What is it that makes a work environment what it is? I have given this subject much thought. In fact, I have racked my brains, and my friend's brains, over and over again trying to find the answer. Here is what we came up with in order of presedence:

Environment.No matter how much you love your job, the environment could prove to be extremely pleasant, or extremely unpleasant. The latter of which would cause much discomfort and stress.

Type of work. What is it that you do all day? Stare at a wall, play with explosives, flip burgers, handle top secret documents, play 007, etc.

Work stress. Not to be confused with job stress. Work stress is stress derived from your physical or mental activities at work. Ie: Handling dangerous, live explosives could be stressful. Solving ground-breaking mathmatical equations could also be stressful. Both could be very rewarding, which could offset the actual stress.

Leadership. Who is your leader? What type of leader are they? Do they cuss at you all day long and tell you what a dirt bag you are? Or, do they encourage you and try to guide you with positive reinforcement? Do they even know your name?

People. Who you work with. What type of people are they and what is your relationship to them? How well do you interact with eachother?

Time. This is a floater. This can be placed at the top of the list, or the bottom depending on how you feel about time. Are you at work 8 hours each day? 12 hours? 14 hours? 16 hours? There are civilians that work 16 hours a day in a corporate environment. There are soldiers fighting in Iraq that work 16 hours a day in a combat environment. Both can be equally stressful for different reasons.

Here are my personal statistics:
Rating scale;
* Very good
** Good
*** Whatever
**** Bad
***** Very Bad

Environment: *** good - I work in Germany. The weather in my area can get to 15deg during the winter, and 100deg during the summer. There is plenty of rain and just enough sunlight to keep me from slitting my throat. I work in a hanger, with lots of ambient noise from an airfield. Including jet engines, rotors, and other assorted noise. It's not great, but it could be worse. I am not unhappy with my environment.

Type of work: * - I love my work. Without going into too much detail, I fix a particular mission critical military vehicle. Without analysing exactly why I love my work, I can say that it's quite fulfilling and I feel a sense of accomplishment by the end of each day.

Work Stress: *** - This actually varies day to day. But I have noticed that by the end of my 9-12 hour day, I am physically exhausted. Occasionally I am mentally exhausted as well.

Leadership: **** - This is where job stress comes in. This is also the major cause of most frustration in my job, and in most other people's jobs, I think. I'll get into this at a later date.

People: ** - I'm surprised I give a good rating for this category. The fact is, the group I work with is good all-around. Everyone has their short comings, but they also have their strong points. There are no tenuous, strained relationships, and overall everyone is good natured and really pulls together during times of difficulty. Which is just about every day. lol.

Time:** - Generally my schedule is predictable. I get up at 5am, in formation by 0630, finished with PT by 0730, go to work at 0900, on my way back home by 1730. I have an alternate schedule where work begins at 0630 and ends at 1630. But still out the door by 1730.

Overall rating for my job:

If I could change one thing it would be the leadership factor. I'll tell you why in my next "My Army" post.

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