You’re Stuck

You’re Stuck. That’s why you’re mad. That’s why you hate mondays, that’s why you’re snappy, that’s why you can’t see any of the good. You can’t see a way out and you think you might die at that desk/in that stockroom/behind that counter/<insert job location here>. 

19 firefighters died for the greater good, saving lives on Monday and I thought, if I died at work, would I be doing what I loved? Sadly no. It’s fun sometimes but I don’t think that I was born to do this. You probably feel the same way.

So how to get unstuck? Slowly chip away at the cement.

img: google

  1. Admit you’re stuck, but admit it without prejudice or self-loathing.
  2. Realise that you CAN get unstuck.
  3. Figure out where you want to go, who you want to be, etc. you’re never too old, even when you think you are.
  4. Have a plan. e.g. maybe you wanted to play basketball but now your knees have gone out from age, so be a coach instead. just do whatever it takes to get close to what you wanted.
  5. Know that getting unstuck does not have to mean a complete life change. You don’t have to pack up the house, pull the kids out of school and move to the middle east to do meaningful work. Getting unstuck can be as simple as going to a swimming class after work to overcome a fear of water. Sometimes auxillary things can give your work meaning and they can lead you to where you really want to be.

It’s a process but a beautiful one. Start chipping at the cement right now. Get unstuck, get happy. 

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DON’T Pass it On!

Sometimes things are done to me that I don’t like, I’m treated disrespectfully or not given the tools I need to work with, or someone is mean to me for no good reason. When these things happen, I get all mad and righteous and think “how could they do such a thing! what kind of person does that! you’ll get yours from Karma!” However, just now something unpleasant happened and I suddenly thought… “who am I doing this to?”. I don’t know where it came from but, it’s a valid question and worth ruminating on. It’s easy to get miffed when something is done to us, but before we cast the proverbial first stone, are we guilty of the same actions? And even if we aren’t now, are we going to stay mad and end up passing on the same upsetting experience to other innocent folk?

While you can’t change what other people have already done to you, you can change how you treat others. So next time something upsetting happens, think about if you’ve ever done that or anything similar to others and resolve to treat people better next time. 

Have a good weekend!

Dissertation is picking up so I might miss a post in my anxiety filled delirium, sorry in advance just in case!

 

Stop the Bus!

I work with a liaison who, when faced with criticism or complaints about the performance of his team, throws EVERYONE under the bus, myself included. He does not want to take responsibility for the problems, perhaps thinking that if he does he might come closer to being fired due to the cut throat nature of his company’s work culture, so instead he deflects. He will blame the delivery guys, the warehouse guys, the merchandising guys, he will blame the advertising plans and marketing efforts, saying they are either not enough or that they were not targeted. fun fact, he heads the S&M (giggle) team and he approves the very plans he criticises. He is not a team player in tough times and he drives the proverbial bus over everyone. I was upset about it and complained to my co-worker whose response was “get your own bus!” 

I do have my own bus, for this guy and his team are not at all without flaws, however, I don’t think that this parade of buses is the way to go. I don’t want every meeting to feel like we’re playing in traffic and someone is going to get run over any second. I want us to be able to work together and realise that we all want the same thing – more sales. So I’m sticking with the pedestrian route and trying to use Stop signs – I don’t retaliate, I ensure that all my comments have a positive tone even if I have something negative to say and I always say “we” to enforce the fact that we are indeed a team.

How do you deal with being thrown under the bus? Do you get your own and return the favour or do you stay pedestrian? Tell me in the comments.

SLOPPY!!

I received some correspondence today from a lady looking to form her own company. She is currently employed at one of the companies that we work with and has been in contact with me for over 3 years. The document name had 2 typo errors (which is a lot for just 3 words!) but I tried not to be judgmental and opened to read. The first thing that greets me is address line with my name, department and position. Of those 3, she only got my name right. She put the incorrect department, no title and she spelt my company name wrong. My name, title, company name and address are in my signature on EVERY email I send. Couldn’t she just have copied it? I was hardly interested in reading further but I did. Her company wants to collect and compile data about our products and competing brands in the markets. Not being physically present in the islands, this is actually our local liaison company’s job, the very company she works for! … what?! Also, if the information ABOUT the company is hastily compiled and sloppily done, how can I expect detailed and well formulated reports from this person and their staff?

My mother always impressed upon me that First Impressions are Lasting Impressions, and in this case it was not very good. While I am not above giving anyone a second chance, in this fast paced world with several companies offering the same services, each trying to out-do the other and offering more and better, do we have the time to do so? Can you as a potential service provider afford give less than your best and risk needing said second chance?

Papercut

I'm sorry sir, we'll get to you soon! img: google

I’m sorry sir, we’ll get to you soon!
img: google

I am behind on my dissertation. There. I admitted it. Said it out out loud instead of rushing by that uncomfortable thought and pushing it to the back of my mind like a nurse in the E.R. pushes a papercut to the back of the room screaming “Sit down sir! I’ve got a GSW to take care of, we’ll get to you as soon as we can!”. Except, there is no GSW, the dissertation is the priority that I’m glossing over. It’s just a papercut now but as I push it away, the papercut starts to turn green and smell, gangrene sets in and if I don’t act fast the whole finger will fall off and then the poor patient will die. I will die, of failure. 

But I get somehow paralysed. I overestimate the time I have and when I realise that time has run out, I freeze, not sure where to start. See, I’m GREAT at starting, FABULOUS at plans (my dissertation proposal was approved with not a single correction from my supervisor) but follow through is my weakness. I always think I have more time to chill than I do. I take breaks too early and never get back to my original task on time. Eg. Dissertation proposal finished? Awesome, I can chill for a week. That week turns into 6 and i’m like holy crap, what the hell happened to April?! oh shoot May’s gone too and it ate half of June!

Then that’s exactly where the paralysis hits. All I can see are those lost weeks, the decreased quality of life and work that I have inflicted on myself and I’m not sure how to make up the time. Can I really finish a 5500 word lit review in 2 weeks? I read like a snail! Worry and fear take over, gluing me to the ground and I look for escape, I play World of Warcraft and watch 4 seasons of Drop Dead Diva back to back, clicking next episode with the compulsion of an addict. 

But responsibility eventually bubbles to the surface like soup in a heated pot and spills over into my escapist reverie like a tsunami tide. I can’t ignore the papercut anymore, things are critical and we have to operate or lose the patient. “Sir! We’re ready for you! This way please and quickly!”

Gowns on and Glove up people, we’ve got work to do!

img: Freedigitalphotos.com (via google)

Yessuh, Nossuh!

(Apologies! I accidentally posted to my personal blog and not this one, so you get both Tuesday’s and Thursday’s post today!)

img: google

img: google

Nobody likes a yes-man who just agrees and does as he is told. Not your boss, not your colleagues, not even your clients. People like to know different perspectives and especially in the client case, it is your duty as the expert hired to give your opinion and ensure that they receive the best possible service or produce the best possible product. Sure they may not always listen to you, but it is paramount that you establish yourself as both knowledgeable and caring/invested in the process. Those qualities get you invited back for other jobs or recommended to others. 

Are you a “yes man”? You don’t have to be, state an opinion today, dont be rude or arrogant, just say what you think the problem is and tactfully suggest a solution – eg. “hey guys, I’m not sure that fluorescent pink and orange are the best colours to decorate the funeral home, charcoal and midnight blue tested better with grieving audiences, perhaps we can try those?”

Speak up today guys and see you on Thursday!

WOOSAH!!!!!!

img: google

Customer Service is a tough and often thankless job. You get yelled at and vilified for pretty much everything, often things that you didn’t do or things that the customers themselves are responsible for.

In my job, I deal with country reps who often tell me things I really don’t want to hear like how they’re ordering less due to sales drops which shouldn’t have occurred had they implemented the suggested marketing activities or monitored the sales more closely. Obviously this impacts my performance so I get pretty upset and I can feel the steam coming from my ears!!!

But I try never to reply in anger. If I am on the telephone, I take a breath and think positive before I answer or I might ask them to hold while I mutter angrily to myself and try to find my peace. If it’s an email, I let it sit for a bit while I browse 9gag.com for a laugh to cheer me up and calm me down. So far these approaches have helped me cool off and give the best service even in vexing circumstances, what are your cooling options in heated situations? Let me know in the comments. 

Also, apologies for no post on Tuesday, days have been flying by!

Have a great Friday / Weekend!

Persevere!

img: google

On Tuesday, we finally got a meeting with a potential new account that it took me TWO YEARS to get. Two years of calls, follow-ups, being passed on to new personnel as they took the job, of waiting while the business restructuring got finalised and we could move forward. Now, if you think that’s bad, hear this: the company’s been trying to get an account in that area for …wait for it… TEN YEARS before I joined! Makes my two look like cake doesn’t it?

Anyways, the meeting went WELL! Once we get legal worked out, we should have our new account by August, our customers are excited and rearing to go! It’s really exciting to see something you work so hard on come out so well. 

No one wants to wait 10 years or even 2, but if you have to anyways, you better start now! Keep at it and it’ll pay off in ways you never dreamed of!

Have a productive Friday and a fab weekend!

A World of Opportunity… literally!!

So… Linkedin.com just emailed me to suggest that I apply for a job. I assume because the requirements coincided with things that people had been endorsing me for. I took a casual gander at it … ok not so casual, I clicked so hard my mouse almost broke but before you judge me, it had a catchy title like “We’re looking for candidates like you!” Come on! lol.

a world of opportunityWhile it turns out I didn’t have enough experience for that particular job (needed like 15 years experience and I’d have had to take a job in primary school to get that much right now), below that were other suggested job offers. After half hour of clicking through, I’ve seen jobs in a wide range of geographical areas, from here in the Caribbean to Milan to Dubai, to India to Africa! It’s literally a world of opportunity! While we are aware that you need work permits etc., none of these jobs noted “locals only” so they definitely seem accepting of talent from anywhere.

So… feeling a little stuck? Go have a gander at the LinkedIn offers and send in some applications, you might get to travel. 😉

See you Thursday!

*nb. Perfect photo! Image thanks to google and globalsmallbusinessblog.com

Give yourself Permission!

You work hard, we know this, so why can’t you take a break?

This ticket entitles you to a Break!
(image from google)

No I don’t mean vacation – I mean get up from your desk and get some tea/coffee/juice while staring out the window at the trees. Reports are due and you’re working hard but make time for lunch even if it’s just 15-20 mins to get some real food in your stomach.

Does that report need ALL of that detail? If you’re pressed for time, once the important stuff is there and it’s presented well, you can skip the bells and whistles this one time. I’m not saying to slack off, but a break is necessary, for your sanity, productivity and happiness. With no breaks you’ll make more mistakes, your fatigue will cloud your judgement and you want to do your best job. 

You can keep going yes but your body will break down, from the stress and the fatigue. So give yourself permission to take a break, all of your work will still get done, 15 minutes will make all the difference.

Tell me how you spend your breaks in the comments! Have a productive Friday and great weekend! See you Tuesday!