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Don't Bring Me Down

I don't understand people who start the day out in a bad mood, I don't get it.  Even if I wake up still feeling tired, which I often do, once I'm out of the shower and moving I am ready for whatever the day brings. I am a morning person and I see each day as a new beginning, a clean slate to write my life on. I want to make it count, and I want to go to bed feeling good about it, or at least that I made a valiant effort.

My workday starts earlier than Papa Bear's, so I leave the house before he is awake.  That works well for us, as we have limited bathroom space and he is not a chipper morning person... at least until he's had a cup of coffee to get him going.  So the house is quiet as I get ready, just me and the cats.

I head down the road for the eighteen mile drive to town. The sun is bright and already warm in the bright blue sky canopy above. The air smells fresh and traffic is relatively light until I get downtown.  I have time to think, time to pray, time to adjust my attitude for the coming day.

I arrive at the office early, ahead of everyone. I unlock all the doors of our suite on the 9th floor, then settle in to drink a breakfast shake and check my email before it's time to transfer calls back from the answering service.  Usually I have time to do a bit of blogging of see what's new on Facebook.  I start the day in a peaceful, productive frame of mind. 

Then reality steps in... the first coworker is late, as usual, as she is nearly every day.  It isn't questioned or addressed. She feels entitled.  The phone appt she has for 9 AM calls in a few minutes after nine, stating she had to run an errand, is on her way home, and will be available for the appt in just a few minutes.  I tell her it's ok, that the person she is to speak with is also running a bit late and will call her shortly.  Said coworker soon arrives, and informs me that if the client calls again I will need to reschedule their appointment because she just tried to call them and they are unavailable. I tell her the client will be at the designated phone number within five minutes.  She grumbles and says she will wait no more than ten minutes. Ok, I understand. No-shows and "I forgots" are a common thing here, we work with people who have disabilities combined with a lot of life issues and not always great coping skills.  However, we have one hour blocked off for what will take less than 30 minutes, so there should be some leeway.  To reschedule means yet another game of phone tag in a week or so.  I suggest/request that we call the client one more time before cancelling her allotted time. My coworker is not happy with me. Customer service with a smile is not her forte.  It is ok for her to be late, but not ok for our client, who did at least check in, to be a little bit late.  Sigh

The second coworker arrives, she was out sick with a headache yesterday.  She is out for some reason or another on the average of once a week.  She works half-days and goes to another job in the afternoon. Her work is piling up, and we are digging thru piles looking for documents that have not yet been scanned in.  She comes in looking like she was run over by a truck.  She says she still feels terrible and doesn't know how she will get much work done in her present state.  She goes up to coworker one's office to park and visit for awhile.

My bright morning spirits are beginning to droop.  I can see this is going to be a "lovely" day.  Thankfully, my third co-worker always has a friendly greeting, even though I know she often truly doesn't feel well, and has a lot going on at home.  She is almost always kind and considerate to our clients and helpful to me.

My supervisor/attorney returns from a morning of hearings. (Her husband, our other attorney,  is at hearings out of town today.)  When the other three coworkers have departed for lunch/home, she heats her lunch in the microwave and stops by my office to visit.  She is only in her mid-30's, expecting their second child in January.  We visit freely, she is very easy to get along with, and I think she enjoys having someone to talk to that has a bit more life experience than a couple of my co-workers who are still at the stage of discussing who got blasted at the bar over the weekend.  We talk about her daughter, and the new baby, and their dogs, and her husband whose work style is very different from her own.  I like her, I enjoy her.

My husband calls, he's on his lunch break and is out running errands. He's stopped by the pharmacy and wants to know if there's anything I need.  He works long hours and gets so tired by end of day, yet he never complains.  He is not a complainer.  I love him for that.  I wish I was more like him, and bitched and whined less. :-)

I am on my lunch break now, I've shut my office door, and munching on a bit of lunch, I settle in to catch up on my blog.  I reflect on how people affect each other.  The first two coworkers arrival at work this morning left me feeling blah and down, just as they were.  The third one, and my supervisor were cheerful and friendly, that made a difference.  My husband called, being helpful... that made a difference too. 

Do you see what I'm getting at here?  How we act, and how we interact with others, has an effect on them, which in turn has a ripple effect on the office, the day, and ultimately the world.  We can share warmth and caring, or we can share unhappiness and discontent.  It's not so much what happens, it's how we deal with it.  Attitude is EVERYTHING, and attitude is contagious.  Take a moment to check your attitude now and then throughout the day.  Ask yourself if your presence is a blessing or a burden to others.  If it falls into the latter category... adjust it! 

Ultimately, you will be about as happy as you make your mind up to be, and you will find that sharing smiles and friendly words has a way of making you feel better too.   Sometimes, if things get tense or heavy, you just need to take a slow, deep breath, and start the day again.  You can always start again at any moment... that's the awesome thing about life!  Just because the day started off on the wrong foot doesn't mean it has to become a downhill slide.  Stop, breathe, smile, reverse the energy direction.  You are going to feel a whole lot better if you do, and so will I if our paths happen to cross today! Thanks!!

10 comments:

  1. Ah, the self-entitled co-worker who shows none of the compassion she expects from others. And yet, you don't have a backstabbing gossip working there? You're in heaven darlin'.

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    1. Oh, she is all that and more Lotta Joy! But I have learned to go my own way, to get thru the day, and to leave it behind when I go... for the most part anyway! LOL

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  2. There is always a bad apple, and it inevitably spoils a bunch of them. There has to be good ones, who rise above the compost.
    Or there would be no apple pie!

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    1. Oh! Apple pie... I like that! Mmmmm! Now I want some!Compost is a very apt description, I like that too! :-)

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  3. I agree that a positive attitude can make a difference although some people can test the limits of our patience regarding retaining that attitude. One thing I have learnt lately is to be grateful for each day even if there is an element of crap in it because it could always get worse. This is a very wise and welcome post, Josie!

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    1. So very wise and true, Selma, it could be worse, it has been worse. When I grumble about work I realize at the same time how good I have it there overall. I just wish I could do a wee bit of attitude adjustment on "some people"! :-)

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  4. You know Josie I get this I am not a morning person and it takes me a bit to get going so the drive to work is my solitude and most mornings I am going to a job feeling like I have been hit by a bus. I am in charge of morning phone calls and I have a great co-worker that knows when I am silent it is pain not personal, I still get thru phones with a cheery phone voice because well that is my job to serve the public and with respect whether or not they are polite my job requires that I be no matter how I feel. When I had the business and my employees would have that attitude I am only doing the minimum I would often talk about the snowball effect and how our attitude rubs off, it really does but we have the power to over come it and change it for the better. I love your attitude :))

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    1. You truly do get it Janice! No matter what is going on in our own lives, we have an obligation to try to bring a pleasant countenance to work, to get along, to be helpful and friendly, and always to treat our customers with respect and consideration. Go the extra mile if we can! Our attitudes really do affect others, to me being positive should be a job requirement. My rule is that everyone gets a couple "off days" a month, after that, better shape up and cheer up! :-)

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  5. Good for you for having such a good and positive attitude every morning! What a great way to start the day. I am glad that your husband is not a complainer...that helps!

    "Sharing smiles and friendly words has a way of making you feel better..." This is so true! We reap what we sow!

    Thanks for this post!

    Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

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    1. Hi Linda! I find the way I start the morning sets the tone for the day. I make sure that my frame of mind us upbeat and ready when I walk into the office. I know it's going to be busy, the phones are going to ring like crazy, and there will be many people to deal with who need a bit of compassion and understanding. This is why God has me there, I'm trying to live up to His belief in me! :-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)