I walked back in time this week at work. I’m training for a new position and the person I’m replacing has worked there for 29 years. She’s as sweet as pie and has more knowledge about this job than she can pass on to me in two weeks. When I walked into her office, I had a quick trip down memory lane. She still has a word processor. For those of you who don’t remember, they replaced typewriters. If you don’t know what a typewriter is google it or better yet spend some time talking to your grandparents about life when they were kids. You might find the time before modern technology fascinating. Where was I? She has files that date back 30 years that are kept in big, blue, three ring binders. She copies certain documents and files them, numerically, in these binders and keeps a copy on her computer’s desktop. She keeps the copy in the binder because she doesn’t trust the computer. What if something happens to the computer system and all the data is lost? I smiled and nodded my head telling her I completely understand. It’s hard to trust computers. They lock up and shut down at the most inconvenient time. When you want answers they don’t always provide reliable information. They fail us. Over time, we’ve learned not to trust them which is why we backup information on a disc or in the cloud or print paper. We want security. We want to know that all of our hard work is there and easily accessible. We want something that will not fail us.
In a recent e-mail someone made a statement to me about God’s unfailing love. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the word unfailing. Unfailing…I know what it means to me but I wanted to see what MERRIAM-WEBSTER thought of it and here are three words used to define unfailing-constant, everlasting and inexhaustible. WOW!
We know that computers are fallible, cars break down, houses become worn, people disappoint us but God and his love towards us is constant, everlasting and inexhaustible.
I attended a meeting for an organization I recently joined. The speaker of the evening was providing insight on how to develop your network (networth) The presenter, Debbie, made some very compelling points. One of those was about the people in your network. Those are people you come into contact with that you are able to influence or that are able to influence you. She had the attendees to fill out a list of people in our lives and put them into two categories, brown or green. Brown represents negative, non-life giving, stagnant, Debbie downer type of people. Green represents life giving, positive, hopeful, moving forward type of people. Then she went on to challenge us to have more green people in our lives and to determine whether or not the brown people could become green or if they are forever browns. If there are forever browns they needed to get weeded out of our lives. (I’m summarizing not quoting) I’m glad to say I have more green in my life than brown.
Give it a try. Write down the names of your friends, colleagues and close acquaintances and categorize them as either brown or green. Well, the process should start with you. Are you brown or green? We don’t want to make any assumptions. Then categorize your circle of influence. We all have a bad day and bad things that happen to us. But do you or the people in your life live in the land of sad, angry, pitiful, spiteful, hurting and whoa is me? If you live there, it’s time to move. If you are visiting, you’ve probably worn out your welcome and need to go back to your happy place.
She did not say abandon your brown list. But take some time to determine whether or not you can help them develop some green. From me to you, don’t allow them to pull you into the dark side. If you are not already fully functioning as a green person, avoid the browns until you are in a better place. A pity party is not the social event of the year. It’s more like quicksand. (side note, where does one find quicksand other than movies?)
Time to go forth and cultivate some positive relationships.
If you follow these steps you will be well on your way to becoming a certified slacker. First let’s define slacker. According to me, a slacker is a person who doesn’t get much done during the day but no one seems to notice.
I am offering steps to get you towards the certification, not the certification itself. As a true slacker you don’t want everybody to know so you would not leave a trail such as a certification to give proof to those that may suspect your status.
1.) Attend as many meetings as you can, take down lots of “notes” and look extremely engaged and interested in the topic
2.) Show up for work on time and stay late sometimes. During actual work hours surf the net, pay your bills online, update your blog and any other internet related activity that requires typing and intensely looking at your screen.
3.) Get a screen protector or arrange your desk in such a way that passerbyers (I know it’s a questionable word) can’t see your screen.
4.) If you are high enough on the flow chart to have an office, close your door and come out every hour looking frustrated and sighing loudly. Of course what you are actually doing is surfing the net, texting and talking on the phone.
5.) Go to work early, schedule a meeting with a friend you are in cahoots with, (go to the movies, grocery shopping, take a nap or just hang with that friend) then come back to work and stay late.
6.) Always be available for questions. This passes the time and you appear helpful as well as engaged.
7.) Walk around your office talking to people. Don’t spend too much time with one person or else people will complain that you are keeping others from being productive.
8.) Don’t volunteer for any projects unless you are the coordinator then delegate, delegate, delegate.
9.) Don’t take the credit for other people’s ideas. This makes people angry. The goal here is to be stay on everybody’s good side. You want to have lots of allies not enemies.
10.) Always look busy!