I had an ex-boyfriend once. When we began dating, things were nice and we got along and he gave me the attention and interest that I wanted and also deserved in a relationship. Once things got a little more serious, something kinda of “snapped” in his brain. He became overbearing and obsessive and the attention became something of a monitoring device, which didn’t go over really big with me. What was great, became rotten pretty fast, and needless to say that relationship went bye-bye. I remember one day toward the demise of the situation, I had gotten so fed up, I turned to him and said “You know, I cannot possibly miss you if you won’t GO AWAY.” Clever statement, I thought, in the moment. But it is an axiom that holds pretty true, kind of like the more common “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” This week my opps manager was out of the office on her last vacation of the year. And she was definitely missed.
I always appreciate her work, and the work of my other staff members, but I am pointedly reminded of their contribution when one of them is out of the office for any reason. I get to be them, (I do my best anyway), but this is a good thing for more reasons than appreciation. I am brought back in close touch with my customers and staff. It’s a good time to do their work, and maybe evaluate how certain programs or policies or procedures are working or no longer working for them and the company, and make plans to replace the things that are slowing us down. Sometimes a business owner and a company may look as if they are moving forward exactly right, when in fact they are headed down the wrong road, or headed at least in the wrong way toward a goal that is not their real goal at all. Many a complacent business owner wakes up one day and says ” how in the heck did I get here” and then they have to backtrack all the decisions and try and fix things, rather than keeping short accounts and changing things to support the ultimate goal and path as they go along.
Things did go well this week, and we were very busy. My young office manager displayed stellar performance although she was dealing with a sudden death in her family. Sad situation…her young cousin lost control of his car and lost his life. Odd thing, his flip flop was caught under the accelerator while his foot remained on top and continued to accelerate the car. He reached down to free the shoe, lost control, and the vehicle went off the road and hit a very small tree. He had no seat belt on, so he had nothing to stop him from bending down, from trying to free his shoe, from placing himself in the way of the tree that came crashing through the passenger’s side of the vehicle. I have thought about this several times this week. What if he had chosen a different type shoe? Did he forget that he had an emergency brake on the car? What if the seat belt had engaged and not allowed him to bend down? What if he had not been alone? Would the other person had been injured, or worse, because he had lost control? Or would the other person had been able to free his shoe for him… and the car…and the passengers…go home safely, with only stories of their misadventure? In relationships, business, and personal decisions, I realize a great need to wear the right “shoes”, wear a “seatbelt”, and have a “friend” along for the ride for my own safety and the safety of others. I must prepare to do the right things with the right methods (wear the right shoes), have self-discipline ( a seatbelt) in place to keep me in check, and have someone ( a friend or business associate) who holds me accountable but will go away from time to time to let me know the value of their friendship, advice, and relationship. We all need that, now don’t we?