Hats off to the Cornerman

Hats off to the Cornerman: Did you know that in a recent study, 80% of people on LinkedIn don’t enjoy OR hate their jobs?

Here’s another fact… I’m one of them.

For fifteen years I undersold myself and could be found ‘spinning my wheels’ in various warehouses to support a crippling alcohol addiction. You see, boredom, escapism through drinking, and needing to work to afford said drink is a seemingly never-ending cycle that robs you of your morale, drive, and precious years.

Fortunately, with the clarity of abstinence, I have finally addressed it.

Now companies are funny places, and moving up the corporate ladder can be a difficult task for many reasons, including doing your job too well. Why upset the apple cart when everything is running smoothly? It’s all about facts and figures, and meeting targets, right? But what about the little guys, myself included?

I have had the promise of promotion or a change of direction within the company promised to me numerous times. The carrot is dangled just long enough to squeeze an extra modicum of effort out of you to meet some unknown target before the opportunity mysteriously disappears never to be spoken of again.

I have talked to my line manager time and time again to no avail and the subsequent feeling of hopelessness was just the excuse I needed to pour another drink. But I’m staying sober and with newfound vigour I figured I’d take matters into my own hands.

The company founder at the age of eighty is pretty much retired. He pops in now and again to see how the business is being run and still has the majority of say in the grand scheme of things. He’s an old-school boss who cares about his employees’ well-being and has been known on numerous occasions to bung a hard worker some extra cash out of his own pocket for staying late or doing something exemplary.

So, I took my problem to him. I explained that I was unfulfilled in my role and that I have the desire to further myself within the company. That I have the drive and ambition but feel my attempts at reaching out and moving up aren’t being reported to the correct people and ultimately it’s destroying my get up and go. And you know what he did? He set up a meeting with the general manager on Tuesday to discuss it. Just the manager and him. It was as easy as that.

It was at that moment I realised the importance of having someone in your corner.

Take boxing for example. The boxing ring can be as lonely a place as you’ll find in the sporting world. There is, however, one thing that a boxer always knows, the corner man will be there to provide the brief snatches of support that can make a ‘tough day at the office’ that little bit more bearable.

Prepares the Mind,
Aids Recovery
Gives the Right Tactical Advice and
Motivates, Motivates, Motivates.

And when the fight is over and the decision has been delivered. Whatever the result, a good corner man will have spotted some things to work on for future fights. In the immediate aftermath, they allow a boxer to bask in the glory of a win or savour the unpalatable truth of a defeat without interfering too much. After all, the last thing that a boxer needs in the minutes following a fight is a tongue-lashing from a corner man…it’ll keep!

Doesn’t this all sound very familiar? Isn’t this the precise support that we offer each other on a daily basis?

We are ALL united against a common opponent. Some of us have gone two rounds, some twelve and some are still fighting this very second. Whatever stage of the fight you are at I implore you to talk about it. To reach out is to realise that you are not alone. Not only that, but you are surrounded by cornermen! Fights are hard won, but with the right support network and communication, I’m confident that we can keep this thing on the ropes and KO it for good.

I’ll take your corner and you take mine…

Hats off to the cornerman.


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This post was originally published on the Hello Sunday Morning Legacy platform. It was offered by it’s author to be published on Boozemusings in December 2017.

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