I had an experience the other day at work and it really got me thinking and I am so glad this happened early into my employment and not later. It has helped me grow as a person and it has helped me become a better employee for the job I am doing. So up until this day, I would read grievance after grievance and my initial response was to be the judge and decide right then and there whether the employee or the department was right without hearing both sides, as you may say, without looking at the BIGGER PICTURE. So anyway to make a long story short, my boss (who is totally awesome and helped me have this learning lesson) and I was discussing the details of a new matter. Me being the person I was before, was criticizing the employer for disciplining this employee for what I thought was a very frivolous matter (the use of department materials that in total cost was approximately $15.00 if put in money terms) so after I said my $.02. My boss then explained, so look at this way, what if this employee worked for a different department lets say, the tax commission and they needed $15.00 so they took it out of their cash drawer, would it still be a frivolous matter to discipline for? Instantly, I was on the defense of my previous response, well that is different, stealing cash right of a drawer compared to using department equipment. And so the lesson begins, my boss said . . . Are they both state employees? My response, "Yes"! In a matter of speaking did they both steal $15.00? My response, "Yes, well if you look at the use of equipment in dollar terms." So with a smirk smile on his face he asked, Would of the cash in the drawer cost the state $15.00 to replace it? Would the replacement of what was used cost the state $15.00 to replace it? My response after a long moment of silence "Yes, I never thought of it that way!" LESSON LEARNED.
How often do we make excuses for our behavior? How often do we rationalize our misconduct? The bottom line is we are human, we all want to be successful, we all want to matter, we all want to be happy. So I challenge you to look at the bigger picture, the next time your blood starts boiling and you feel your about to explode, or the next time you start a statement that is meant to judge someone else, think about the BIGGER PICTURE and don't take everything personally.
I thought to myself I would quietly count in 24 hour period, how many times I heard an excuse throughout the day (even counting my own). I was amazed, I did not realize how much time the excuses took during the day. So after a few days of listening, I mean really listening, I made a new rule at our house, I think it is finally catching on, we are a no excuse home LOL if the kids break something or begin fighting, I ask what happened and as soon as they take ownership I stop them right in mid sentence because think about it, what comes after your initial response to a question especially if you response is unfavorable, AN EXCUSE as to why you did it or why it happened. So for instance, I would say did you spill your milk? The kids response normally would be, yes, but it was because ??? was hitting my chair or kicking me under the table. Now it is did you spill? Yes because, NO EXCUSES. You spilled your milk, you clean it up. I am surprised at how this has cut down on the whining in our house, the blame game and actually resolves issues faster.
I usually don't pass on emails, but the following email I received the other day. I have read it many times after opening my inbox, in fact read it this morning (actually forwarded it to many of you) and it is the reason for this post. So I thought I would share it here and hope you will each get your own meaning out of it.
Law of the Garbage Truck
One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly. So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'
This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'
He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.
The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.
Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets,
so ... Love the people who treat you right.
Forget the ones who don't.
Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it!
Have a blessed, garbage-free day!
So with that being passed on, excuses are garbage, fighting is garbage, judging others is garbage, look at the bigger picture, don't take it personal and from me to you HAVE A GARBAGE FREE DAY!
P.S. I am not saying I am perfect and old habbits are hard to break, but I am trying!