Taking Things Too Seriously

I try not to take things too seriously. Sure, there are things that I do take seriously, but most of those are the typical things in life. I want to make sure my family eats, has a roof, etc. But when it comes to other issues, well, they largely don’t really matter.

Around my jobs, folks love to take professional sports too seriously. I like sports, but if my team loses I’m not stuck in a bad mood all day. It’s a game man, and anything can happen. Those overpaid, yes they are all overpaid, guys are just going through the motions anyway. You can’t expect them to win every time out.

The same holds true for stupid things around work. You’ve go to do this, you’ve got to do that. Err, not really. All you have to do is what is expected of you and be a little bit better than the person that does the least. That makes you a better employee than at least one person. It’s all about where you set the bar.

Taking things too seriously is the pathway to all sorts of issues. I don’t really know where to begin, but I can tell you the real troubles in life have a tendency to rise up and blindside the living crap out of you. I’ve learned that in four decades on this planet. Something might be coming, and you won’t know a thing about it until it is all over. Then you’ll be staggering, trying to pick up the pieces.

That’s why it’s important to laugh at the stupid things we worry about. There’s just no point. You have to take time out for yourself and you’ve got to take time to live. There is precious little time as it is, make the time to take seriously those things that are bound to mean something to you in your life.

Bringing the Whole Thing Home

There is a lot of sayings and maxims running around the world, but one of my favorite is “bringing the whole thing home.” It’s a way of celebrating accomplishments, telling everyone about a job well done, and other big moments. When you say “She brought the whole thing home,” you are giving quite a compliment.

As a writer and blogger, I’m very conscious of the words that are used in a discussion. Word choice really matters to me, that’s why compliments of this nature are such a tribute from a person like me. Some folks think I dissect communications to be a jerk, but what I do is find the hidden emotion in a sentence.

By figuring out what people are actually saying, you can learn a whole lot about them. There are shinning spots of glory, and there are insults that are getting played as compliments. Folks love to be passive aggressive by putting signs on things and taking shots from the dark at people. That’s all pretty much the sign of a weak individual or a weak organization. If you don’t have the confidence to tell someone something clearly face to face, then odds are you should not be saying it in the first place.

Communication is what separates humans apart from other animals in this wide open glorious world, and if you can’t take a second to do it properly, you are playing into the hands of our most feral instincts. As a writer, that’s what it’s all about. Clarity means a whole lot.

Of course, not everyone can do this, and it is outright difficult for many. However, by bringing this whole thing home I can draw the illustrations and emotions out of every single person taking the time to read this, because after all, you are supposed to feel something at the end of every post.

The More They Stay the Same

There is something to be said for the status quo. Keeping things level is something that everyone strives for. It’s all about liking where you are and finding your level.

Often change inspires things to move forward just a little bit, and that becomes the new status quo. And then a bit further, and then a bit further. You get the idea. The bar keeps rising, and what was once out of reach is decidedly firmly in hand.

Those small changes can add up to something powerful and great. It takes work, it takes dedication, and yes it takes desire. If that desire is powerful enough, the other qualities fall in line.

As human beings, we are obsessed with staying in our comfort zone. It’s no different than getting in front of a group of strangers and belting out a karaoke tune. You’ve got to occasionally push the envelope into a different mailbox. You have to try, or nothing is going to happen.

One of life’s biggest little secrets is that your mindset makes a world of difference. A lot of what we do as people is all about positioning. ¬†If you are not in a position for good things to happen for you, you’ve got to change that.

It requires some intense self-examination at times, and other times it is pretty obvious. You have to want things to be better, or in short, nothing is going to ever change, you’ll be locked into that single status quo.

Moving to the next level is never easy, or everyone would do it. The other secret is that everyone, yes EVERYONE, is exceptional in their own way. By taking things to the next level you get to realize just how terribly impressive your skills truly are.

But first you have to leave your current status quo behind, and take on new challenges.

The More Things Change…

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

It’s a cliche for certain, but it is one that generally rings true. For any number of reasons, change has very little impact on life as a whole. There are all sorts of instances where change was good at first only to falter out of the gate. It’s just one of those interesting things.

I’ve been at a crossroads at my life for quite some time. Maybe a year or two now, where I do not especially enjoy my job or the people I work with. The money is good, and technically my life is not really my own. My family always comes first. That may change at some point in time, but it is not likely to get altered any time soon.

So for my, things are changing as the family grows, but things very much still stay the same for me. I am in a dead end job. It pays well, I’m not complaining about that, but I have very little future or room for growth. So at what point do I get to do something for myself? Well, therein lies the question.

For me, success of those around me is always most important. I’m a king-maker not royalty. You’d see me at court, but you would never really see me out in front. That’s just how I am wired. So from that perspective, I guess I’ve got everything well under control. It seems like there is something else out there I could and should be doing. Some measure of greatness, don’t we all? Instead, I toil away day and night and day again to perform my job to the best of my abilities.

One day, I’ll make a turn at those crossroads, and maybe just maybe it will make all the difference in the world.

Make a Difference: Speak Up and Don’t Speak Out

Everybody has a certain comfort level when it comes to speaking in public. However, at corporate meetings and other company gatherings, employees have a tendency to speak out. They make comments, express views, and try to rouse the entire group. The problem is that the action is not always one hundred percent productive.

No, speaking up is much better, because it allows everyone in the organization to take some notes and address the issue. Sure it might be important to the employees raising the issue, but that special things aside, the grand scheme of the company does not necessarily reflect those concerns. Everyone has to wait their turn.

That’s the beauty of corporate deniability, nobody seems to ever be at fault. Employees need to follow through on concerns or nothing is going to change, but making a show and grandstanding are not really going to accomplish anything besides hurting feelings. Those feelings will generally belong to the people responsible for the change, which means the actions can have the opposite effect and impact.

Everyone deserves at least a chance to make a change. Change does take time, and depending on the situation, it could take a long time. That does not mean workers should be submissive when it comes to issues. Quite the opposite, to make change happen requires work, dedication, and discipline. Without those, why bother in the first place?

Politeness and tact matter, especially in the eyes of management and leaders. That’s the real problem, because in the absence of true leadership, people listen to whoever steps up to the ¬†microphone. That can be very very dangerous in any type of setting, but it can drive a company to ruin in more ways than one. It’s all about being aware of who can make the change, because the right answer is everyone working together.

Lack of Comprehension Is Not a Reason

There are rules everywhere in life. Whether those rules are laws, codes, or whatever you want to call them, they are there. Somebody somewhere thought it was important enough to write them down at some point, and that person probably thought they would be followed without question.

One of the biggest issues with rules is an age old statement “I don’t understand why we can do this” or “Why would they want us to do that.” The fact is that understanding why a rule is place has little to do with actually following it. The rules should be inflexible, the rules should be enforced uniformly regardless of who is involved.

Lack of comprehension is not a prerequisite for obedience. It’s as simple as that. Everybody needs to put in some kind of effort to follow the rules, and everyone should respect the rule enough to make sure that everyone is following them. It’s all about having structure, which is the whole point of many rules.

In my professional life, I’ve encountered rules that I’ve managed to get overturned or reviewed for different results. I think my arguments out and state my case. Sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t, because rules, like society or companies, can be altered over time and watered down slowly. There simply has to be some sort of rules, or there would be little point in anyone trying to keep anything in order.

There are times when a rule might seem out of place, but that might in fact be the sole reason the rule is there. For that one shinning moment everything can make sense. It’s all about fitting the puzzle together and getting things in the right place, and once that happens, great things can happen and big results can occur. However, it all usually starts with learning the rules.

Fairness and Equality Never Go Out of Style

I’m something of a champion for fairness and equality. I make sure that everyone gets treated the same, regardless of standing, race, sex, age, etc. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes situations arise where special circumstances are required, but I take things to the next level when I see a wrong-doing. This is extremely important at work, and I’ve found it terrible at large corporations.

If one employee is permitted to do something outside of the ordinary, then by extension, every employee should be afforded the same courtesy. Working odd hours, saving paid time off days, having to do less work, or whatever the order of the day is, I’m right there making sure nobody else is being taken advantage of. I hold everyone to the same identical standard. If they don’t measure up, I have to know why. I ask the tough questions, because they need to be asked.

Do I fancy myself some kind of saint? Of course not. I just don’t like it when one person wins favor for no reason. If a worker has done something that gets them the power to win a reward, I’m fine with it. However, when favoritism and nepotism start to erode the decision making process, the entire company starts to fall apart. When company policies dictate all employees be held on equal footing, management has the responsibility to take action. I make sure they do.

This quality often puts me at risk for tongue lashings and eye rolling by managers. So be it. If the price for a workplace that is ethical and fair is one employee speaking up when others will not, I will take that trade each and every day. Someone has to make sure that the scales are balanced, and if the leaders will not do it, someone has to step up to the microphone.

Everyone Is Tired, That’s the Point

My job requires me to work shifts. Twelve hour shifts at that a few days each week. It never fails though, when night turn hits the younger (in terms of years served) starts to whine about how tired they are and try to get a little sleep on the clock.

Guess what? Everyone is tired, because people are usually not wired to stay awake all night long and exist on four hours of sleep. Generally, I’m pretty used to it, because that’s how I live my life. But complaining about it is something I simply do not do. It’s a choice after all, but I get tired of hearing about it from the people I work with.

I prefer them slink into a dark corner and go to sleep just because they will shut their mouths. Before you ask, the answer is no, they are not allowed to sleep. However, management in this hell hole has no idea what goes on under the very roof they serve to keep in order. It’s laughable how stupid and ignorant a boss can be, the bosses here are beyond stupid and pretty lacking in redeeming qualities.

The workers that work are expected to carry the load for the majority that do not. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it’s always been. I’ve been here nearly two decades, and nothing has really changed.

Strike that, it’s actually gotten worse. I never want to know what it is like to try to exist thinking that a company owes me something. I’ll work for my paycheck, and I’ve got no issues putting in a little effort, very little effort since nobody else seems to think it is required around here.

I often wonder if management will ever figure it out. They seem way too stupid and apathetic to do that though. And those are never good combinations.

Making the Most of What You Have

Making the most out of what you have is often referred to as resourcefulness. Since going out and purchasing things on a daily basis is something that is pretty much a simple dream for many, there is a certain amount of pride in using things at your disposal in an amazing and thorough way.

I make it a habit to use things in a different way. Sure you can use a screwdriver a bunch of ways, but working your mind and your situations to accomplish different things is a very unique trait. I try to look for angles that others might not attempt or try. I rely on quick thinking, fast decision making, and reaction time. It’s all about throwing a bunch of things together and seeing what happens.

I like the unpredictable nature of things. I enjoy seeing the result and fine tune my process to get the desired result. It is these combinations that can overhaul a tired and boring process. After all transforming something tired into something new can be a great thing.

Maybe it’s the feeling of accomplishment, and maybe it’s just breaking from the mold, but you never really know unless you try. You’ve got to break from the pack on certain occasions, because that is what makes life worth living. If everyone did the same thing without question, what would be the point?

I live by the motto “Make something happen today,” because it really drives home my point. Being stagnant and being steady are important, but making things happen by using what you have at your disposal is what can truly transform the world. Instead of worrying about what others think, worry about what will not happen if you don’t try. Be results driven and take on challenges, that what I like most about life. Nothing comes easy, and it really shouldn’t.

Hating the Job

Right now, I hate my job more than anything. It’s at a factory that specializes in sucking the life and will out of everyone worthwhile that walks through the door. It’s a shame it has come to this, but I can’t say that I am surprised. Just out walking around while I am working I passed by three fellow “employees” sleeping on the clock. That’s pretty incredible.

I say none of this is unexpected because supervision is pretty much nonexistent. I was told by a supervisor that the place runs on trust and the honor system, which is just a fancy way of saying that nobody really has a clue. Effective managers are basically a thing of the past now. The reason? I can speculate.

Corporations care about the bottom line, which leads to keeping tabs on the salaries paid to managers at the property level. Good managers with lots of education are expensive, so most companies elect to go with what is available at the cheapest price. Bingo, you get a lot of unqualified people trying to make some sort of effort yet have no idea how to do it. It’s a shame, and it should be unacceptable.

Therein lies the problem. Corporations do not care what happens at the base level. On one hand they have no idea what actually goes on, particularly in a factory. One another hand, they are saving money that is being used to line their pockets by hiring substandard managers (which often results in substandard employees), and on still another hand, the corporation can control a number of things on a whim. If it’s policy; it happens without question.

So I get to hate my job being surrounded by lazy individuals that really don’t deserve the same rate of pay as I get. Yet it happens. Everyone knows I will do the work, but I’m done, I’m stopping, and I’m fed up.