I’m a Type A personality through and through. I’m not as awful as some, but I’m worse than most. I’m the kind of Type A that literally gets excited when I plan out the most efficient errand-running route at home without having to backtrack or waste time. I love calendars, lists, and color coding. I need deadlines, strategies, and structure. I like knowing what to expect in the next few days, weeks, months. I have to be the most efficient in everything and try to multi-task when appropriate. I hate waiting.
My family might disagree. But I think that’s because they’re super Type A. I like to do things on my own schedule.
When I started to ask Roger what responsibilities I would be expected to complete, I got an inkling that this would be a bit different than what I’m used to. He spoke vaguely about “do what you think is appropriate” or “clean things with the guest in mind.” I’m not really sure what that meant. He’s owned this bed and breakfast for about 8 years, was a high school business and economics teacher for at least 10 years, and yet had no discernible management skills.
I met Elise, who was 23, and the Roger’s “business partner” slash B&B manager tonight. She seemed nice but also very uninterested in coming in to work. I couldn’t understand how Roger has allowed her to get away with not coming in to work or doing any of the tasks that he requested of her.
With a bed and breakfast to help run, I needed direction. I needed an idea of the tasks and chores that should be completed. So I do what I do best. I made a calendar, started a task list, assigned owners, and set dates. Project management at its finest.
I think Roger has an idea of what he wants out of the bed and breakfast. I can’t tell if he came up with his own list of goals or if the other girls before Laura and I helped him compile a list, but we sat down a few times to discuss his plans. Almost everything on his list he said would need to wait for Elise’s parents to help with. Elise’s parents who have their own full time jobs to worry about. Elise’s parents who told Roger that these things wouldn’t be completed until early next year.
That just wouldn’t do. Some of the items on the list were pretty basic. At the very least, Laura and I could help with a couple tasks. What Laura and I didn’t know, however, is that the state of the bed and breakfast was much dirtier, disorganized, and tattered than we realized and the timeframe for completing these tasks, without the right tools, would be pretty tough.
..which was a shame because I think Roger really needed help. Elise was never there. She stopped caring about the bed and breakfast. And Roger, I think Roger can see his big picture goals but doesn’t know or isn’t proactive enough to figure out the means to accomplish these tasks without being told.
Armed with the knowledge and ideas from HGTV and Pinterest, I created a list of what to do in the coming weeks. Pretty soon, I found myself beginning to micro-manage Roger, constantly reminding him to clean this or throw out that, sort this and vacuum that. I found myself acting as his manager instead of the other way around. And I didn’t mean to…it just happened. But then he started asking me what our plans were for tomorrow and the next week. He wanted Laura and my opinion on this purchase or that, this furniture arrangement or that, these curtains or those.
But it was a delicate balancing act. With a never-present manager, I think Roger began to rely on Laura and I for more than just cleaning the rooms. On the other hand, I think our proactivity, determination, and organization forced him to re-evaluate his own abilities to run the bed and breakfast once Laura and I had to leave.