The Buddy System

I think black and white really captures the moment.

I think black and white really captures the moment.

So here we are in the week after Easter. I know many of you are tired. Exhausted maybe. You worked really long and hard hours in the week(s) leading up to Easter and pulled off some amazing services that God used to change lives. That is a great thing. At the end of Sunday, you probably felt elated, drained, thrilled and spent. But you saw results, and the work was worth it. 

A funny thing happens in the days following, however. At least it always did for me. I always spent the week after a big weekend recovering, and I started to notice some odd feelings creeping in. I would start to question, did I do too much? Or too little? Does what I do make a difference? Did anyone actually notice all the extra work? Am I really any good at my job? Do I even like my job? I wonder how much those guys at the convention center who drive the forklifts get paid? 

A number of years ago it occurred to me that I might not be alone in those thoughts. Now, I’ve told you this many times before, but it bears repeating. When you start getting into that kind of thought process, you need to phone a friend. For me it almost became a ritual; I would set up a lunch or two with some fellow tech directors later in the week following Easter. To say this was helpful to me is an understatement. 

We do unique work. The tech department is unlike any other in a church. It’s hard for anyone else on your staff to really understand what Easter week looks like for you. However, any other tech guy knows. As I would have lunch with any number of guys I knew in the area, we would usually start commiserating with how many services we did, how many rehearsals, how many late nights. I often tried to pick a lunch with one friend who was at a much bigger church so I could feel a lot better about my work load (thanks, Greg!). 

Then we’d move on to other general stuff, and usually end up asking the question, “So how are you, really?” That’s when it started to get real. And in the safety of being around someone else who really gets it, we could open up. I was surprised as any when guys who I thought had the perfect church job would tell me about some of the BS they were going through that was not unlike the BS I was struggling with. 

And at the end of that couple of hours, we always walked away feeling better. There’s something about talking this stuff through with someone else who gets it that is like a full reboot for our internal computers. It’s a combination of validation, I’m not crazy, and maybe my job isn’t as bad as I thought all rolled into one. Picking a restaurant with some really solid food is a bonus. 

I write this to encourage you—again—to get out and meet with other tech guys in your area; this week or next. OK, it’s Thursday, so next week. That still counts. And if you want to stay healthy in your job all year long, have lunch every month or two. I can’t tell you how many times Van and I talked each other off the ledge those six years I lived near him. Even now, living 2,000 miles a part, we’re only a phone call away, and we use that technology. And even now, as a systems integrator, I get together with other SI guys semi-regularly. Today, in fact. 

Being a TD can be a lonely job, but only if you isolate yourself. Find another TD and get to know each other. Who knows, you may gain a life-long friend!

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