Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

I know its a fun title and here is a fun kick off. This nice lady was really worried about the health of her unborn baby because there were jackhammers in the street.

So concerned that she decided to calm the child with some intravenous nicotine
Seriously some people -- I remember working for a certain church at one point in my career, my job was to handle all property and maintenance issues. There was an unusually large air conditioning unit on one end of the property that was causing problems for one of our "Neighbors." Keep in mind that this particular AC unit had been in place for about six years, and the said neighbor (in fact her whole neighborhood) had been in place for about two months.

This lady was so angry about this AC unit and the noise that she actually turned psychotic. She called every day at about 10AM, I referred to it as the 10AM comedy round-up. She would call, I would gather all of my colleagues around and I would turn on the speaker phone. The ranting and senseless raves would go on for at least five minutes about how her children were going to have brain damage, and the noise was causing structural damage to her home, her plants were dying, she couldn't think and had constant headaches. On and on, I felt bad for her, but never mind my attempts to interrupt her with some solution based dialogue, no. These comedy round-ups were absolutely pointless.

After about two weeks of this, I FINALLY was able to tell her that I would more than generously split the cost of erecting a brick wall around the unit with the hopes that it would diminish the damage claims that she was making. She agreed that this would be a possibility, but I never heard from her again. Perhaps she moved, perhaps her husband bought her some earplugs.

I was reading a book today, and it had some good ideas about efficiency in everyday life, there were two recommendations that I loved.

1. Never allow yourself to be on hold with the phone to your ear (put it on speakerphone and do something else).

2. The easiest/politest way to get off the phone with a telemarketer, hang up while you are talking -- they will simply think the connection was lost and move on.

Interesting points, and good ideas. I have to be careful with my time, I easily get consumed with small tasks that could almost always wait. But in my mind I have to do it now for no apparent reason, other than I want to get it done.

I hate waiting for the parking lot bus after I'm done working. It is the most meaningless time spent doing nothing but standing outside. I can only people watch or enforce the smoking policies of the airport for so long (yes I do politely inform people who are blowing smoke in my direction of the designated smoking area.) So I decided about a month ago I would work on my networking. While standing waiting for the bus I go down my contact list and call people I want to keep in contact with, but can never seem to find the time for.

Not everyone needs to be corrected. I remember going shopping with my Grandfather about 15 years ago. After he found the gift he wanted for his mother the clerk told him about the complimentary gift wrapping that was available on another floor. When she opened it that evening, he gloated to everyone that he lucked out with a special that included free gift wrapping. His mother quickly corrected that this particular store "Always had free gift wrapping." The other day Amy and I were with a friend who was so excited that she had just received a 20% off coupon to Bed Bath and Beyond -- Amy and I bit our tongues, not wanting to burst her bubble by announcing that we get those dreadful things at least twice a month. We let her be excited, and it was okay.

My challenge for 2009 to not sweat the small stuff, complain less, be happy more, and let little things slide. Listen more, be interested in other people, more than anything -- and most importantly be more Christlike.

Have a great day -- by the way who is going to put a countdown to the new season of LOST on their blog? -- they will get a shout out for sure!!


1 comment:

**Loving Mom forvever** said...

Oh what a beautiful bedroom!! Steven-- Before you were born we painted your room yellow.
It had a blue and yellow throw rug in the middle )made by aunt deanie) and winnie the pooh figurines on the wall. (mom and dad)
Grandma bought you a crib, and at my baby showers bought me just about everything a person could need.
When you were born My Dad brought you a talking dog and overalls with a plaid shirt to go under. Grandpa Leroy bought you your car seat. There was a rocking chair in your room from your Dads Grandparents The "Sweickhardts" The most special time with you was in the middle of the night rocking you and looking at the stars.
You know when you were a toddler/pre-schooler, my parents had you a lot. As they did later in your life. When I worked, or brought laundry over. and they took you on all their vacations. You had the most beautiful blond curly hair and big blue eyes that everyone would stop me in town to comment. I wish i could go back and do things differently. Be more grateful, thankful for the time.I loved you so much and I still do. I am so glad to see that your little one has such good parents and is loved so much by everyone already. Love, Mom P.S. I want to see pregnant Amy!!