I've only earned one "F" in my entire life, and it was in college. In Beginning Ballet.
It was my first term at Oregon, and I didn't understand the concept of dropping classes when you weren't enjoying them. I assumed since I'd shown up for most of the classes that it wouldn't be a huge deal if I missed the rest of the quarter. Yeah, not the best idea when the bulk of your grade is determined by attendance.
Ahh, yes. The many intricacies of college.
My naivety at that time didn't have huge repercussions, just a little "F" on my transcript that basically meant nothing since the class was only 1 credit. It definitely gave my adviser a chuckle when she saw it, but overall, no major consequences.
Now that I'm in the real world, my "grades" are determined by my work performance and how well I serve my clients. On that note, I would give myself an "F" these past couple weeks.
Work has significantly picked up, so I've been swamped. I've also been dealing with other stuff outside of work like my living situation, volunteering, the fiction writing workshop I'm now enrolled in. Either way, there's no excuse for procrastination, yet I made the mistake of letting an important client project slip through the cracks. So not in my character usually, but somehow it happened. And I got in trouble.
My boss called me in his office the other day and tactfully told me I needed to hurry my ass up (my words, not his). He made note that I don't ever come in early or stay late, and when it comes to getting things done during a busy time, I should be doing whatever it takes. He was right.
Then our senior vice president called me in his office and echoed what my boss said - I needed to step it up and get this done. I thought maybe all this pressure would have made me cry, but it actually motivated me. I was half-assing and I needed to get back on my A game ASAP.
So I came in early yesterday, didn't take a lunch and stayed late. And you know what? I got everything done that I needed to and felt on top of the world! So simple, I know. I guess I sometimes take my relaxed work atmosphere for granted. I also question if I'm working hard enough all the time - when I see other people putting 110% into things, I'll often ask, "What's the point?" Not to say that my work isn't important to me - it truly is - but it always bothered me in college when people recorded every lecture on their dictaphones. Why create more work for yourself?
I do understand the value of going the distance without pushing your limits - many times there is a difference between working hard and working well. I feel like I work well - I get things done, do my best, but I also keep my sanity. Never have I wanted to be one of those career-obsessed people. One of my co-workers will answer her BlackBerry at 4 a.m. or check her work e-mail even when she's off. I can't think of a time when I would ever do that...is that so bad? I'm a huge believer in work-life balance.
I guess my equilibrium has been off lately, and I haven't been as focused on work. This incident changed that. I don't ever want to be in that position again, so in a way, I'm glad this happened.
There's nothing like a little drama and the fear of a metaphoric "F" to light a fire under my ass!