After visiting Lilly at her Lilly’s Life blog today, and after reading her post entitled “Put some boom into the doom and gloom,” I feel compelled to share this post. Lilly writes about a friend named Gail, who is an ex-Nun who is physically challenged and who has a very unique philosophy of life. She aspires to make people feel important no matter what their station in life. Imagine what a difference that could make in all of our worlds if her philosophy were to catch on.
Two days ago, I found out that my job position is slated for the death gallows on June 30, 2009. I walked obliviously into my usual weekly one-on-one with the boss like an innocent cow to the slaughter, not knowing what he was about to tell me. Afterwards, my coworkers huddled together and whispered as coworkers often do when something of this nature takes place. Before leaving for the day I calmly told everyone within earshot, which was virtually all of us, “You all don’t have to act like my job is not being chopped. I can hear everyone whispering and it would be better if you would all talk to me.” With that, I left for the day.
I came in the next day and one of my coworkers came into my office when no one was around and gave me a pep talk and assured me that the municipality I work for will surely find me another position. Then she hugged me for what seemed to be 10 minutes. Although I basically equate a hug with a fate worse than death, I endured it, and actually appreciated the sentiment.
Then there was “Kim” who sneakily bought me some dark chocolate and almonds from See’s Candy which is known to sell the very best chocolate in Phoenix. She did not stop there; later in the day she came into my office and I merely commented that it was bad luck that my final report edit was being published today since I had not been able to concentrate and do my very best work since the news of my pending lay-off. She cheerfully offered to do a final read-through for me. I looked at her in disbelief because I believe this was the kindest and most thoughtful offer I have ever gotten from someone in the work place.
The first thing that went through my mind was to say no and thank her. But when your job is on the line, and you really don’t want something to go public knowing it is not your best work, I did what I needed to do, and that was, to say yes. She found the mistake that would have been a great embarrassment to me. I had left out the word “of” in the following sentence: “Some ___ the results are listed in Table 1.” I have never been so grateful to anyone in my career. I was so relieved and so appreciative of her kindness. Here was a coworker who for some reason decided to show some compassion towards me and in the process saved me literally from career disaster. All she did was smile and tell me that we are a team and we watch out for each other. You bet I’ll be looking for ways to watch out for her!
I plan to meditate on this philosophy of trying to make a difference in someone’s day and possibly their life. I think it’s worth the effort and the results. I feel like I learned a valuable life lesson and wish to share it with you.