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!!