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Lessons

There are some things I figured I wouldn’t have to teach people. Common sense things that you figure everyone would know. Or conscience things – you know so and so will pick up after themselves as they don’t want to be thought of badly.

This is apparently incorrect thinking.

Just last week I asked someone to deliver items that had arrived in a bunch of boxes to staff. They agreed to do it, happily and then reported to me that the job was finished. I was happy to hear that and went about my regular stuff – until I got up from my cubicle and saw the four empty cardboard boxes just sitting there on the table in the front area.

At first I thought – “Maybe I should just tell them that this is unacceptable” but then the thought occurred to me that if they didn’t know that by now in life there wasn’t going to be anything i could do to get the message across.

I get in the trap of thinking – it will be better if I just do it myself. No need to worry that it isn’t done the right way or in a timely fashion. But I can’t do all of it by myself – wish I could sometimes as you know, I hate people.

Just in general I get annoyed at picking up trash that almost made the trash can. I can walk by it, I saw three other people walk by it so I could as well. But I can’t… I have to pick it up and toss it away. I wish I had the money to DNA test each piece of garbage I find  so I could have intensive training with that individual(s) involving electroshock therapy and maybe water boarding.

One of my bosses once found a mess of scrap paper near the paper cutter, just left there. He crooked his finger at me (he does that) showed me the mess and said “find out who left this like this and burn them” – I tend to get along with this boss.

A few years back I watched a great number of people walk by a man being beat bloody by another man, they just pretended like it wasn’t happening and didn’t want to get involved. I can’t do that, I am baffled at how other people can do that. I intervened and tried to help the guy. I didn’t do it for glory or money (didn’t get any of that) I did it because it was the right thing to do. The Superman thing to do.

Alcoholics Anonymous taught me frequently – “do the next right thing”. Whether that made you uncomfortable or inconvenienced or not.. do the next right thing. It’s not a bad way to live a life.

I think some people can’t determine what the next right thing is. Maybe their internal compass doesn’t work right or they’ve forgotten how to read it. Maybe mine’s the one that’s broken and I’m supposed to be crueler and less caring. ‘Merica!

Today was just a thing that I figure everyone knows, but when I started to get frustrated I realized this was one of those things that geek type people knew but not non-geek people. So I had to get over it and just make it right.

A coworkers who frequently gives new employees a tour of the office used to say to them “treat this kitchen like you would your own” until she thought about it and realized they way they keep their own kitchen could be drastically different then the way we keep our office kitchen. So now she says “clean up after yourself, put your items away, be respectful…” and so on… but people don’t really remember that conversation after their first day – nerves I guess.

Tomorrow is another day of learning for me and others – maybe we’ll all get along and the world will have peace… doubtful, but I guess it’s possible.

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