Saturday, November 15, 2008

Take a lickin' and keep on tickin'

Yesterday I arrived a work and started the Start-up checks, only to have the printer jam, repeatedly,with nothing that I could find to correct the problem. Calls to the tech line only delayed the inevitable, and finally a service call was instituted. I went to lunch, despairing of the day's ability to right itself.

One of the assistant managers came up to the break room to say the technician had arrived, but was doing fine without me. When I came down, he was one of those who had helped set up the lab, and recognized me. He showed me how to correct the problem, and gave a few other tips. While this was happening, another assistant manager arrived to close, and questioned whether I had mentioned wallets not printing right - instituting a battle over who controlled the printer -- me trying to catch up, or the tech trying to correct a persistent problem.

I turned the lab over to my relief after pointing out ALL the rolls of film yet to be developed or processed. The tech was glad to see me go, because my relief didn't argue over control. But I heard that when he left, the screen was still full of internet and kiosk orders, and she was told not to process ANYTHING until the screen was empty.

Thus I came in this morning to finish the last couple of orders, call people to let them know orders were ready, or rolls hadn't developed in a manner they would want.

My lesson from this? Simply that Timex was right, we need to learn to take a lickin' and keep on tickin' - as John Cameron Swazey used to say. The tough stuff of life is only a momentary difficulty. What is good will end - but so will what is bad - so we need to keep on keeping on - push through the momentary distractions, keep helping, working, smiling and laughing. Keep finding good even in the bad, or because of the bad.

"What?!?" you ask. Let me illustrate with a story I've used several times, about a single mother (how she became single isn't important) who worked as a waitress in a truck stop. She did her best, and as Christmas approached, wondered how she would make Christmas real to her children - only to find her car with new tires, food for Christmas and boxes of presents for her family as she exited on Christmas Eve. Her life was nearly overwhelming, but by smiling and doing her best for those whom she served - life had a bright spot as others reached out.

So keep on ticking no matter than licking you might get, and you will find there is good all around.

Think about it! Peace!

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