Well, it’s happened. The online school I started building in 2012 has gotten too big for its britches, and I need HELP!
I posted this ad in the last issue of the “Harp Column” (yes, we harpists have our own trade magazine – which includes a yearly HarpMobile issue, which we await as eagerly as a Swimsuit Issue).
The problem with needing to hire an assistant is that once you get to that point you’re already on overload, so getting back to the incredible applicants who’ve already applied has been at the top of my to-do list every day for the past 4 weeks – along with 20 other urgent to-do’s.
It’s hard to move forward knowing that getting the ‘right’ person has very little to do with the actual qualifications of the person I hire – since everyone who’s applied has been incredibly qualified, all in different ways.
It has everything to do with our communications styles, and with how flexible they are over time in communicating to me in ways I can understand and that I feel safe with.
I often wonder if I have some kind of mental misability (and don’t get me talking about “dis”-ability unless you’ve read H.G. Wells’ “In the Country of the Blind”). I just wish that whatever I have had a name so I could say it to people who join my team and they’d say something like, “Ohhhh … you’re context-blind. I see, so that means we have to … blah blah blah.” Or “Ohhh, you have Alien Orientation Syndrome. I see, so that means we have to .. blah blah blah.”
I need everything labeled. I need every document re-contextualized before I can begin to understand it, the layout has to make sense to me before I can read it. And my brain seems to go utterly blank between each thing I’m doing.
I won’t remember to do things unless I have a system for remembering –– and when I think I’m behind on anything, I become so anxious that I’m paralyzed and can’t do anything. And I’ve always been this way. It’s not getting worse or better. It just is.
All of this, by the way, is why I am so gloriously HAPPY whenever I’m on stage. It’s one of the few times all of that is lifted and I can just do what I do. But for every moment I’m on stage there are hours and days when I’m preparing for those moments of lift-off.
My mother used to pin my name and address to my shirt when I went out. I basically still need that, just on a more expanded level. I need someone who will work to understand what I’m trying to do, ask clarifying questions to help me externalize it, then make that ever clearer in how they communicate, organize and systemize what I’ve created.
I need them to brief me on where we’re at, clean up behind me, point out where I’m not following my own guidelines, create manuals for everything we do and remind me what I said my priorities were. And, frankly, the pay’s not that great – not to start with, anyway.
So if you’ve applied for the job and haven’t heard from me – now you know why – and it’s not because I’m not interested. I simply don’t know how to go on to the next step – how to figure out whether the incredible people who’ve applied will actually enjoy learning to work with me the way I need to work, or if they’ll resent that I am the way I am and think it’s tedious and unnecessary that I need what I need.
And if this really DOES sound like the ultimate day job, I swear I’m getting back to everyone this week, so just follow the directions on the ad!