Delegation Failure

Today I got after Beth for a mistake, and I think I did almost everything wrong. I may have done one or two things right but I’m not sure. I’d love to hear your thoughts and advice. What’s a Dom with ADD to do?

A few weeks ago I ordered a computer accessory from Amazon. It was moderately expensive, about $60 or so, and when it arrived… it did not work. I tossed it back into the box, went to Amazon and told them I wanted to return it. I didn’t want a replacement as the device appeared to work fine; it just did not appear to be compatible with my particular laptop. Amazon emailed me a shipping label, but since I’ve moved my office in the house I no longer have a printer. I shoved it on the back burner and decided I’d deal with it later.

Now, a couple of things. I have ADD, and this is a classic example of how being a Dom with ADD is incompatible with the Fifty Shades kind of D/s, where Christian is constantly hypervigilant of Anastasia and her every move. We’ve had to adapt a lot of common D/s advice; where some Doms double down on micromanaging their subs, I just can’t. Half of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb at, and one of the things I’m really dumb at is putting things on the back burner. Why? I’ll tell you why.

I have ADD. The stove in my mind has no back burners. Behind the front burners you will find only “things that have fallen down behind the stove”. (ADD does mean I have seventeen front burners, but that’s a post for another day.) A day or two after getting the email from Amazon I found the box and realized I had forgotten all about it. I knew I needed to get it handled, but I didn’t have time to deal with it right then, so I did the next best thing: I told Beth about it.

Delegating to Beth is possibly the only part of this whole mess that I got right. I’m not ever going to get good at micromanaging or keeping track of minutiae. Beth is very good at that and I am very bad at it. A lot of Doms are very good at this, and that’s great – if that’s your forte then by all means use it. But it’s my kryptonite and playing to my weakness is not a wise move. Now then, back to the things I screwed up.

I didn’t give Beth a deadline, other than to say “Amazon needs this back in a couple of weeks or they won’t give us a refund”. She nodded and went back to her chores. This may have been a mistake. We have a big planning board where we write down appointments that are important. I’m usually the one to remind Beth that it is possible to “make an appointment with yourself”, so I could have picked an arbitrary time slot for her to take care of the package. Had I done so right then, I’m sure we’d already have our refund and the matter would be closed.

As you may have already guessed this is a story about a package that did not get returned to Amazon. Let’s pause here and let me put it to you: how would you have given this task to your sub to ensure it got done? If you’re the sub, how do you best receive and handle tasks like this one. You know the sort, the “oh yeah, we need to do this” kind of task, where it’s a one-off task, outside your routine, where the task isn’t hard but you have to remember to do it. Things like mailing a package, calling a repairman, or buying a new faucet.

I want to talk about the distractions that happened between then and now, and about how I screwed up handling the reminder tonight when I looked over and saw the unlabeled box still sitting out on a shelf, but I’ll write more about that tomorrow.

For now, I’m genuinely asking what works for you. I understand each of you have different dynamics. If this is the sort of thing that Simply Never Happens In Your Home™ because your Dom rules with an iron fist and you never receive instructions from them but what you jump right to task and it’s priority one, that’s great! I’d bet you don’t have this sort of problem very often. I’d love to hear how that works for you and if there are other problems as a result of there being no such thing as “priority 2”. If your Dom casually hands you things to handle and forgets they asked you and you forget to do it, then I want to hear how this affects you and especially if you have any ideas for taking care of it. And of course, if you are prone to this sort of problem but simply don’t experience it anymore because you have a great system worked out to handle it, then please, I’m begging you to smash that reply button and weigh in.

If you’re in a relationship where the sub is the distractible one and the Dom has their act together, then I welcome your opinions as well, but perhaps in the other direction. This is the more classic D/s situation, of course; the sub notifies the Dom and the Dom makes a decision and stays organized and makes sure it gets taken care of. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t lessons I can learn here about properly delegating.

I’ll write more about this in the days ahead. For now, your advice and input is not just welcome, but openly solicited.

19 thoughts on “Delegation Failure

  1. First off don’t beat yourself up. No one is expected to be perfect -Not even our Doms!

    Second I’m a list person, which means I have a running to do list. It feels good to check things off.

    Third Sayyid does not have the time nor the inclination to micromanage me. I’m a big girl. When he tasks me with something, he leaves the minute details of how to get it done up to me.

    However, what he will do is give me a time frame -not so much a deadline unless it requires one. For example yesterday he said since I’m on vacation this week there were two important things he wanted me to do THIS WEEK. He didn’t give me a day because the tasks are those arbitrary kind you mention -important, but no due date attached. Sometimes he’ll say This must be done TODAY…. or BEFORE TUESDAY etc when he tasks me with something. I immediately add the item to my list so I don’t forget.

    Trust goes both ways. Subs have to put a lot of trust in their Doms but Doms should also be able to trust their subs to follow through without having to be micromanaged. At least that’s how things are run at the Sayyid house. We’re new to d/s so take my advice at your own risk! 😉

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  2. Hey we all make mistakes and learning from them is the key thing. Only the arrogant think they learn thing from being right all the time!
    For me, I suppose I would have asked Missy to post it as quickly as possible, however, you did make a statement rather than a full request. “Amazon needs this back in a couple of weeks or they won’t give us a refund” If I said that to Missy she would probably ask why I am telling her that. In turn I would then have asked her to post it ASAP. I suppose because you made a statement and not a clear request, Beth’s mind is on other things which is only natural.
    Generally using the old SMART method helps. My version is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Timely. I acknowledge everyone thinks differently, and I admit that I don’t actively use the SMART acronym in home life. There’s being anal and there’s anal!

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  3. Hummm…first of all consider $60 well spent on a life lesson so you don’t beat yourself up so much MM =)

    Even though Kit is not a dom, but at work, Kit’s brain works a little differently. Kit has to delegate tasks all the time, and it’s inevitable that Kit may drop the ball at times. So Kit learned to ask, ask, and ask again if things are not done in timely matter. Eventually the staff get the message and will get my request done and everyone is happy. Writing things on board helps too with a check box next to it. We color code most things so red is urgent, blue can wait a little bit, and green are tasks to be finished by the end of day.

    From sub stand point…there are days when Kit would just completely space out when Master requests Kit of certain task. So these days He is learning to get Kit’s full attention first before delegating His tasks. Usually if Kit’s brain is still working, Kit would get those done in a timely matter. If not…we still haven’t completely solve that problem just yet. It a work in progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing this! Lots of good meat here. Happily Beth and I sat and talked it out afterwards, and I don’t feel upset anymore. Given my ADD, however, this is definitely something that I need to learn from and adapt to, or it WILL happen again. So yeah. I’m not motivated by regret and misery (anymore), but I remain motivated–this time by anticipation for a happier future. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. No one is perfect and we make mistakes ALL the time! This can be so hard in the moment when it is happening. I love that you reached out to others to see how it might have gone in their dynamic though I imagine we all operate differently. When I read this post, I actually do see a deadline given…you said, “Amazon needs this in a couple of weeks”. If giving her tasks verbally is how you typically do things in your dynamic, then it sounds like you did. However, if you typically write it down for her somewhere, then I can see how you might give some leeway in this case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It usually is, but there were definitely extenuating circumstances. I’ll write about them in the next day or two, but short version is I gave her a nebulous deadline, a messy problem to solve (which are my forte, not hers) before she could start on it, and then dumped a bunch of other urgent tasks (read: distractions!) on her.
      It was a perfect storm of fail, I’m really happy (perhaps perversely so?) that it happened during this, my Great Blogging Experiment, so I have to opportunity to capture it all and talk through it with people.
      Yes, I’ll admit I beat myself up for a good hour first, and Beth beat herself up as well. Happily we talked it all out before bed.
      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I use a list of things that I have to do otherwise I will forget some of them or get distracted too, so it is not just an ADD thing although I am sure that makes it much harder. We also have shared lists which we will go through and discuss what has been completed. I have always used my phone to add things quickly in the notes but recently we have both started to use the Wunderlist app so that we can share things more easily. I think that this sort of thing happens to everyone. Don’t worry about Christian Grey; he is a fictional character with no sense of humour whereas you are a real live Dominant who is smart and funny so I am sure that Beth would choose you even if you don’t have a helicopter and aren’t hyper-vigilant all of the time!

    Liked by 2 people

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