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Great Expectations


The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfilment of that hope never entirely removes.” – Thomas Hardy

Take the example of a manager (Bob) who is due for retirement. He has raised and nurtured the people within his team and believes that he has one (Bessy) who can take on the mantle when he leaves. Bob believes it so much that he even tells Bessy what he wants for her. He sets out his vision because he wants to engage and enthuse her. Bob wants Bessy to think of him as her champion. He wants Bessy to be grateful and thankful.

But life doesn’t work like that and things change. Bob didn’t ultimately have the power to make these things happen. Circumstances mean that instead the powers that be want to restructure, reorganise and whilst they have a role in mind for Bessy, it’s not the one that she had been led to believe. It’s good, but it’s not that good.

And so we finish in a place that feels worse than where we started. Even though Bessy gets something out of it, it’s not the size of the prize that she had in mind. If nothing had been said she would probably have been happy and contented. Instead she is demoralized and confused. Bob was trying to do a good thing, but ended up doing the opposite.

There is nothing worse than having your hopes dashed. Hoping for a future which turns out to be nothing more than a pipe dream. Like a kid on Christmas Day realizing that Santa has no better idea of what they really like or want than their Mum and Dad.

Sometimes it pays to think about the expectations you raise….and the potential consequences.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Corporate Daycare permalink
    12/15/2009 16:23

    I would argue that it ALWAYS pays “to think about the expectations you raise….and the potential consequences”.

    Excellent reminder about knowing your limits and what can you do within them.

  2. Karen (Sayya26) permalink
    12/15/2009 18:35

    I’ve seen this happen before my very eyes or heard it with my own ears. Supervisors will give their assurance to staff about something that they didn’t even pass by management or HR and then when it comes down to it- it doesn’t pan out and the employee gets disgruntled. It’s really frustrating to all parties involved I think.

  3. teresahrgirl permalink
    12/15/2009 20:17

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  4. teresahrgirl permalink
    12/15/2009 21:24

    By the way HRD…. this green little man that is beside my comments doesn’t look a thing like me… regardless of what you may think Sir! What is the freakin’ deal with those characters?? Can i choose my own??
    I want a supergirl emblem please.
    Thank you, goodnight.

  5. 12/16/2009 08:46

    @Corporate Daycare – Thanks and you’re right….always probably not sometimes….I just don’t like to be directive 🙂

    @Karen – Indeed, no-one benefits from this is the long run. Sometimes NO…..always, it helps to hold your tongue and pause for thought.

    @Teresahrgirl – I certainly got here by walking over loads of good intentions! And you know you like the green man really…’s just so….you! But you can choose your own I think, but only by setting up a free wordpress account…..someone correct me if I’m wrong?

  6. 12/16/2009 20:35

    Suggest you give Bob a large roll of duct tape as a retirement gift.

  7. 12/18/2009 21:15

    @mkeefer – Nice thought……I’m on to it….look out for the pictures!

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