Tripping over each other and losing tools

For the 25 years that I’d been employed, one of the key issues at work had always been ‘roles and responsibilities’.

I had appreciated the need for these to be clear for the purpose of efficiency and ownership in a work environment.

However, in our new ‘unemployed’ existence, I had to re-learn this lesson.

We’d been restoring the house for a full six months. We had largely shared roles because we believed this would relieve one person from being stuck with an ‘ugly’ task and it would also give us variety.

However, we weren’t terribly efficient. We would get stuck under each other’s feet, we would make more mess and we would lose more tools. We would feel we had the right to comment on each other’s standards (usually negative). We would have a limited sense of urgency, no flow and no ownership of any task.

So about a month ago, we settled into jobs that suited each of us. There was no formal discussion and separation of tasks. It just seemed to happen.

Stu is responsible for bricking, plastering, carpentry, electrical and plumbing.

I am responsible for pointing, grouting, restoring, painting and decorating.

Our new ‘roles’ have eased our communication, made us more efficient and given us a new sense of ownership in terms of the restoration.

All those years at work were not wasted after all…!


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