Where Did The Time Go?

I can’t believe the month of October is nearly over. Where did the time go?

I don’t normally write at 6am on a Saturday but I can’t sleep. I’m sitting here in a cool house with a blanket wrapped around my shoulders. Everyone else is still soundly sleeping. I would rather still be sleeping too.

Too much on my mind I guess. What keeps me awake on a Saturday morning when I could have soft blankets bunched up around me and sleep till 8? It’s usually work isn’t it? Do other professions worry as much as printers do?

I talked to another salesman earlier this week as he matched up a purl campaign letter to the corresponding variable envelopes. It was his first one and he couldn’t, or really he wouldn’t, let go of the responsibility to make sure it was perfect. We take on the responsibility for hot jobs that fly through the shop at an unbelievable rate. Changes, fixes, new files, new plates, new info, change of address, ship here, no ship there. We keep up, yes, we do. This week was especially challenging, busy, fast and furious, and time just disappeared…there didn’t seem to be enough of it.

Maybe that’s why I’m up so early. I’m anticipating all the things I need to get done and knowing how little time I have to do it in. Coffee anyone?

Mama Always Said:

If you don’t have anything nice to say…shut your mouth.

This is really good advice and more people should take it. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’ve made mistakes, said something out of line or gossipy to the wrong person. It has, and always will come back to haunt you. It’s true, really, better to take the high road. I often remind myself of a quote I read in Ann Landers years ago. Her definition of maturity is the ability to take an insult or an offense and not retaliate. The immature response is to hurt back, and convincing yourself the person deserves it is an easy sell to a bruised ego. A hurting person usually hurts people. Boy am I full of adages this morning. Can anyone tell I’m trying hard not to strike back? Not to hurt the people who have hurt me? No, this time it’s not about anyone at work. But, even in print shops, advertising agencies, or corporate cultures, we have the ability to reach out and verbally smack somebody.

Groups of people who work together towards a common goal, often hear the adage; “it takes a village.” Whether or not you’re raising your children, running a PTA or trying to make a neighborhood POA run better, the power of the village is preferred. Even though you might not agree with everyone and you might not even like some of your villagers, the benefits of the group effort should out-weight petty differences.

Over the years I’ve encouraged my kids, within reason of their ages, to experience people with different points of view. This was one way I figured they might learn to consider a diplomatic way to disagree when they found themselves challenged by people with different needs and behaviors. To understand that others will have life experiences, bias, and yes, even…hatefulness towards one-another on occasion that will influence their behavior. To be truly diplomatic requires conducting yourself in a positive manner and to act as a liaison between people who can’t or won’t work together instead of encouraging hostility. Diplomacy is not about giving sway to stronger or more belligerent people, but establishing the best rapport possible and encouraging a give-and-take attitude to avoid retaliation.

Diplomacy is undervalued quite possibly because it may appear as a weakness or not having strong values. No, I’m not talking about changing your values or your goals, only the means by how you achieve them.

I Like Your Hat!

There is a scene in the movie Far And Away that reminds me that most people desire approval, appreciation or admiration when they’ve done their best and are experiencing success.

In the movie, Joseph & Shannon are Irish immigrants who have made their way to America together. Nicole Kidman’s character, Shannon, was the daughter of a wealthy land owner in Ireland, but Joseph, played by Tom Cruise was only a poor potato farmer. However, in America, the tables turn as Shannon’s money is lost to thieves and her aristocratic upbringing means nothing. While Shannon is forced to pluck chickens to make ends meet, Joseph’s success is built on his hot-headed strong ways and he becomes a successful fighter. With his new-found wealth Joseph buys himself some fancy hats and suits and feels he has earned the right to Shannon’s approval. In the scene Joseph begs her and asks “why can’t you just say that you like my hat?” Shannon is unwilling to get beyond her own frustration and she stubbornly refuses to give Joseph what he desires…a heartfelt, true compliment.

A well deserved and heartfelt compliment encourages more of the best and can catapult a person into the next level of success. If stubbornly left unsaid, it can sometimes have the opposite result. Is there somebody you know who could use the positive energy of a heart-felt compliment?

Well then go ahead and tell them, “I like your hat!”