Friday, August 28, 2009

The Amazing Chase

We had our in-service for work the other day. I was all set for the normal, boring day-long meeting. I have a hard time sitting all day and being fed information and rules. I'm more of a hands on type of learner and get bored easily. That's why I chose online courses for college. It totally cuts out any middle man and I can do it on my own.

So we were given a list of 17 tasks to complete in a certain amount of time. How wise it was to send school buses out around town in a race against each other and the clock, I'm still questioning. But it was a lot of fun. We were placed in groups of 5 and let loose.

As soon as we got to our bus and began going over the tasks, I knew we were in trouble. There was a new guy who hadn't a clue what was going on. Another guy who didn't really care what was going on. Then Lady #1 and Lady #2....who have driven for quite some time. And I'm usually competitive by nature. I like to do things correctly and efficiently. When I have to run errands around town, I plan out what to do so that no time or miles are wasted. Herein lies the problem.

Both of the women wanted to lead. Both wanted to argue about why it should be done their way and why they knew best. That would then lead to a story "show-down" to see who would win.

When we began our first assignment, I stole the clipboard away from them and began to deligate the jobs. Lady #1 gave up the control to me with no problem and began doing her task. The other one? She stopped cooperating and decided she was going to sweep the bus. SWEEP THE BUS?! It wasn't even on our list or part of the task we were trying to complete. What kind of team player was she? She wasn't. And I knew that from experience.

I just started laughing. I couldn't control myself. So I quietly put my competitive spirit away because it didn't matter to me at that point whether we won or not. I was more interested in seeing how this race was going to pan out on my OWN bus. Would we finish at all? And which one of these women would be left standing, arms raised in victory?

I helped the new guy and explained things we were doing. Tried to get Lady #2 to let him complete some tasks because she kept hogging them and wanted to make sure her name was put by each one. (Not a team player, remember?)

I joked around with the other guy and we talked about what he should get his wife for their anniversary. He and I have talked a lot over the past year. He's old and many of my co-workers don't like him. I've learned to look past that and see who he is on the inside. Just as with Lady #1. I don't think I know a single person at work that likes her or has the patience to deal with her. Not that I always have patience for her but I try and see the person she is inside and am constantly trying to figure out what made her the person she's become today.

I think the purpose of this activity was to help us learn something about each task we had to complete. I wonder just how much each new person learned unless they were actually doing the job. What I got from talking to other co-workers was that they didn't really learn anything. They were just happy to get away from the usual boring meeting.

I certainly didn't learn anything new that would help me to do my job better.

What I did get, though, was a quiet reassurance that I have changed. And it felt AMAZING! What usually would have bothered me during that race, didnt' phase me at all. It didn't matter to me whether we won or lost, whether I was in control or not, if we were doing it right or wrong, or even who was on my team. I'm so thankful I was placed with the people I was with. I laughed. I made a new friend. Saw life through different eyes.

I was given a test and walked away with the Grand Prize. Self-awareness. Contentment. Humor. Reassurance.

Reassurance that whatever this new year brings, whatever trash people try to throw at me, no matter what my enemies do to try and bring me to their level.......I will deal with it. I'll embrace it and hang on for dear life until I see that certain something I can take away from it to make me yet a better person.

You can't mess with my mind anymore
This is it!
I'm smarter, see I've been here before
This is it!
It's a new day, I'm not afraid anymore
Kirk Franklin / Declaration (This is it!)

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