I've been using this blog as a place to record my own thoughts. A place to document so that I learn and also so that others learn. And today I want to document a feeling.
I feel guilty.
I feel guilty about my job organizing WordCamp Denver. This past year I was speaker wrangler. That means I set up the procedures so the organizing team and myself can pick speakers and add them to the schedule.
And this is the 3rd year doing this for WordCamp Denver and 4th overall. So I have a good idea what I'm doing. The reasons they didn't go smoothly don't matter too much. But in short we tried a different schedule and that led to a lot more work.
What is so strange about me feeling guilty is that I'm used to projects going sideways and encountering obstacles. I'm okay with “failure” because I know I can improve and do better next time. So why do I feel different this time?
Affecting Someone Else
I think it's because my work affected someone else – someone I know – negatively.
At the end of the event the organizers all had a meal together to take notes for next year. And I asked “who feels burned out”? And one person raised their hand. And it was the person who picked up my slack.
With the new schedule we added workshops. There's only space for 8-16 people per workshop which means we needed to add people to workshops ahead of time. And we didn't consider how to do that ahead of time so we did it after they bought their tickets. The person who picked up my slack emailed every attendee individually to assign them to a workshop.
At one point they described their state as, “I cracked like an egg”.
There's plenty of logical excuses I can use to justify that it's not my fault. But I don't think our emotions care about logical reasons. I see someone I care about approach burn out because I didn't consider all of the implications of a change. And that sucks.
I wrote this post to help me understand what I feel and why I feel it. But I don't know what this means moving forward. Do I only take on certain projects? Do I only work on projects that I can fully grok?
With other projects that take more time than expected (like Lift Off Summit) I pick up the extra slack. But because I was busy with other areas in my life I couldn't do that this time. So maybe it means taking on less projects if I want to organize a WordCamp.
I'm not entirely sure what it means moving forward but I know I'm not comfortable putting my obligations on my friends.
We all fall over sometimes. It’s what we do when we get back up that matters.