Dad Life: Work

How To Win Friends At The Office.

I would just like to start off by saying I love where I work and I love my department even more.  I think the people in the logistics cube are downright the best employees at Tip Top. Ok, now with that out of the way, lets get down to business (to defeat… the Huns.)
A couple of weeks ago I learned something invaluable and I wanted to pass it along because I know we could all use more friends in the workplace.  So, forget the golden rule and instead,  jot this little nugget down: Before you call someone a name or shove them in a category, know what said word and or category means.
Let me explain. Our cube, which consists of four people, started talking about sign spinners.  You know who I am talking about, the guys and gals that rock it out with some headphones in their ears dancing the day away flipping around a piece of cardboard so that you can’t read the name of their employer, all to entice you to come into a place of business.  We were talking about sign spinners and one of the guys asked, “What do you even call those guys, spinsters?”
Which I responded, “Woah, don’t call them spinsters, that would be offensive to (lets call her Abby) Abby.” Which Abby then turns to me looking befuddled and shocked… just blinking away.  And I continue on, “Thats what you are right? A spinster?”  As I look around me to see now all three looking shocked, my face starts to flush as I am beginning to realize I have no idea what I just said really means, but I just keep on going.  “Yah, a spinster. Like someone who sews things and creates stuff like jewelry.”
Let’s just say my stupidity was about the only thing saving me at this point because lets be honest, I didn’t use a shovel to dig my potential grave with this one, I used a stinkin backhoe loader, one of those big construction machines.
It turns out the word that slipped my mind was seamstress.  And for those of you who missed the whole bid deal, let me give you the definition of each.
Spinster: A woman who is not married, especially a woman who is no longer young and seems unlikely ever to marry. Which just because Abby is a woman and currently single doesn’t inherently mean that she is a spinster, it just makes me seem like a big jerk.
Seamstress (The word I wish I said): A woman who sews.  Which is what Abby does.
Now, I am sure you can see how I got those words mixed up…right?
Where were we now. Ah yes, my funeral.  Like I said, my stupidity was the only thing that saved me, and the fact that I am not THAT big of a jerk.  Plus, Abby was incredibly gracious and the rest of the team didn’t give me too much grief.
Guys, I am just glad I survived to tell this story and that I could give you all some winning advice on how to win friends at work. In a nutshell: Know the meaning of words and make sure to use them in the right context.

Dad Life: Work

It's Not What You Say, But How You Say It.

bitmoji-20160506055550I work in a department at work that at times can be very stressful, logistics.  Logistics is full of some people with tempers that want things done yesterday, and if their plans don’t go how they expect them to, they get frustrated.  I know how they feel, because when my plans get shifted and changed, it can be quite annoying.
One thing I know is that no matter what happens, it usually isn’t the fault of the  person I am talking to.  This individual just happens to be caught in the middle of it, and even if it was their fault, I know that if it was me, I would still want to be treated with respect.
All of this intro leads me to what happened a couple of days ago.
I was at home and received a call back from one of the supervisors at our other plants and I asked if he knew why it was taking hours longer than it should have to load a truck. As we talked more and more about this issue I was getting more and more heated and my tone was one of frustration, which obviously was putting my teammate on the defensive.  Right in the middle of all of our conversation he says that I need to watch my tone.  That response hit my like a ton of bricks and made me realize that still have some things to learn.  It ended up that almost all of  the reasons why they were behind in loading the truck were not their fault and couldn’t have been prevented.
Now, before we even finished our conversation I stopped in the middle Of it all and appologized.  I said that my tone was inappropriate and there was no reason for me to respond like that.  I said I had been in the wrong because there was never a reason I should have treated a fellow teammate, or anyone else, like that.
From this instance I learned two things: One is that no matter how I am feeling, I always need to treat people with respect, not just with my words, but with my tone.  The other is no matter how the other person chooses to respond during and after the situation, I need to own up to my own actions and make sure that I treat them how I want to be treated.
These two lessons are also old as time themselves, but I know that I obviously need the constant reminder.

Dad Life: Work

Not More, But Better

I am not sure about you, but I love my morning commute to work.  The steady pace through traffic before the sun can even be seen on the horizon.  Now its not the crazy drivers or early morning construction that I love, but the fact that I can just chill on my way to work, listening to podcasts and processing the information I am hearing.
There is one podcast that I listen to by Dale Partridge called “Startup Camp.”  His podcast is about helping entrepreneurs, which I am not…yet, with growing their business and having a life, not just a job.  At the end of every podcast he asks his guest what one of their favorite quotes are.  One week his guest was Jeff Goins, who is a champion writer, and he shared one from his friend Sean D’Souza.  The quote was, “Not more, but better.”
The context of this quote  came from when Jeff and Sean were having dinner and Jeff asking why Sean would only accept so much business a year and why wouldn’t he want to grow and do more.
In hearing this quote, it was a great gut check because I found myself, as I am sure a lot of you do, thinking that the only way to grow was to do more.  I thought that by adding more to my plate and sacrificing some of the things I love I would grow, but as Sean said, its not about doing more, it is about refining yourself and what you do so that you are doing it to the absolute best of your ability.
I don’t need to constantly be adding things to my life.  In fact, I should be actively looking about taking more and more things off of my plate so that I can focus on what really matters and gives me life.  By saying no and taking away things that just don’t matter, it gives me time to do what I enjoy doing and to be in the moment with those I love.  Now I know this is a lot harder to do then it sounds, but this giant elephant of a task can be done one bite at a time.
 

Dad Life: Work

Huff and Puff: How to Look Like an Idiot.

I work at a company that requires us to do testing on product to make sure it is good and wholesome for the end consumer.  At times, because of when the product is ran, it can cause delays for the logistics department, which I work in.  It just happened to be one of these instances that I noticed something annoying about myself, but first, a little background.
I was working with one of the ladies on our inside sales team to make sure I got her needed product so it could ship out on an order leaving the next day.  I had been trying to do this for just about a week and on the last day the product was still not being released and was causing a couple of trucks to be delayed for their deliveries.  Throughout this situation, at each update, I found myself walking away huffing and puffing.
About the third time I walked away I actually noticed myself huffing and puffing and I felt terrible.  I felt terrible because the lady on our inside sales team probably thought I was doing that because of her, and if anyone was walking by or looking from their offices, all they were seeing was an impatient young whipper snapper who doesn’t know how to handle himself.  Once I noticed myself doing this, I quickly stopped, and luckily before any damage was done.
Things are going to happen that will frustrate us and maybe even blow our minds because of the stupidity of the situation. In those moments, it is never ok to huff and puff like a five year old, that is unless you want to look like an idiot, and then by all means…huff and puff away.  Instead, when these moments happen, we need to take a deep breath, maybe say a little “Hail Mary” prayer, and just keep on working through the situation.