Thursday, May 23, 2013

It's the hottest day of the summer. You can do nothing, you can do something, or you can...

I just had a conversation with a co-worker
I questioned him about something he had asked me to do
And I had to explain to him I could not do what he was asking because of the way the software works, the way we had closed out the months, the way we close out the months, blah blah blah

So he starts lecturing me about lost revenue and outlay of cash thereby interrupting our cash flow
He’s in sales, I’m the controller/office manager

I let him go on for a couple minutes before explaining to him why there would in fact be no lost revenue and no disruption of cash flow

So he counters my points by telling me that well, the loss of revenue is not now but in two months
How? I ask

Because it will catch up he said

How? I ask I’m not sure I understand
He tries to explain
I let him finish and he stands there looking at me waiting for my response

So I say

You know you can’t bullshit a bullshitter right?

He looks taken aback for a split second and says with no resentment but with a twinge of defeat
Was I even close?

Not at all I say
Well, I tried he says

Why I asked, why did you even have to try?
Why do you always have to be right?

Sport I say, just for sport
He stands in my door, not sure what to say or how to react

I sigh

Look, I say, it’s not about always being right – I am not always right
But you know what I am? Logical and aware and responsible
All I am doing is taking the time to understand how and why everything fits together
I step back and look at the big picture and figure out how all the little moving pieces need to come together to make it work
And if we all took the time to do that and stopped trying to be smarter than one another or outdo one another, we’d probably all be better at our jobs, work together better and the mood here would dramatically improve

That’s too much work he says, it’s easier just to let you figure out how to fix it…..
He walks away

And I am left sitting here thinking he is a parent, raising a child who will someday run this country when I am an old lady…..I am totally screwed

Have we really become so complacent, so lazy, and so apathetic that we don’t want to take the time to understand?
Do we really not have the stamina to look at all the little pieces put together as the big picture?

Do we really have such a small sense of responsibility?
Do we really have so little pride in our job performance and contribution to our own success that we just let someone else do it?

Do we really feel like we have to outdo each other at work, at home, with our elaborate wedding plans or kid’s birthday parties that we have lost sight of what it means to be a community? To foster relationships?
Are we really, as a society, as a company, as co-workers, as peers, as human beings, are we really so self-absorbed that we just want to be right and someone else to be wrong?

Are we really that concerned about proving how much smarter we are than the guy sitting next to us?
You know who the smartest person in the room is?

The one who doesn’t have to tell you, show you, prove to you they are the smartest one in the room
The smartest person in the room is the one who does not do a lot of talking

And when the smartest person speaks, answers a question in 5 words instead of 15
The smartest one in the room is the one who knows, acknowledges and accepts his/her limitations

The smartest person in the room cares – cares not about being right but about doing the right thing
And sometimes, the smartest person in the room does not even realize s/he is the smartest person in the room…….

But someone else does
I don’t always want or need to be right – even though sometimes I am and sometimes, I find it amusing to say I know when someone looks at me and says you’re right – I don’t need to be right

But I do need to do the right thing
Like Spike Lee, Ossie Davis, and Danny Aiello before me….

I’m just trying to Do the Right Thing
Da Mayor: Doctor...
Mookie: C'mon, what. What?
Da Mayor: Always do the right thing.
Mookie: That's it?
Da Mayor: That's it.
Mookie: I got it, I'm gone.

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