Thursday, October 14, 2004

Life

Life is defined as

The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, and response to stimuli or adaptation to the environment originating from within the organism.

The characteristic state or condition of a living organism

Sit and ponder that definition for a bit while I go and grab a coffee…

Life can throw us some fairly interesting curve balls sometimes. I sometimes sit and ponder why people make things so difficult. You have an employee sitting at his desk in an office building. He is working on something that needs to be finished by the end of the day. Already this person is in a state of stress as they try and accomplish their task. An email arrives from their boss stating there will be some restructuring in the orgainziation. Stop. Now that employee is unable to concentrate on the job at hand. They sit and ponder the email and think of all the other people in the office who also stand a chance of losing their jobs. There will always be change in any organization. There will always be people who are let go due to cost reduction based on the economy. People take news like this as the END of life as they know it. Will that person be able to find a new job? Nobody knows; it depends on so many factors you can never say yes or no with all certainty.

The company I work for is going through some changes as well. They are implementing new policies and changing the structure by which we work. There are a LOT of changes happening and quite a few coming. Everyone’s first impression is layoffs. People always think the worst of things which leads to mass chaos around the office. Even if one person takes that home with them and loses sleep, they effect the team as a whole. Employees who stand around the water cooler discussing changes in policy are causing more and more grief. Speculations are made and rumors are started. Next thing you know Lucy Lu over in accounting is getting the axe because forgot to put the new cover letter on the TPS report. Oh, and she all of a sudden has 5 kids to feed because her good for nothing husband left her last year.

Life…

Bringing your work life home with you is a dangerous game. I have a difficult time with this as my work and my home are somewhat related. I am the primary money maker in my family and if my job is affecting me, my home feels it. I try to leave as much at work as I can, but we’re ALL human. I’m reminded of a story told about a man who came home from work every day and hung something on a tree outside his house before going inside. He did this everyday; but when someone went to examine the tree, there was never anything there. In the morning the man would goto work and pick up the “invisible” thing he left on the tree. When the man was finally asked what he was doing, he replied simply “I’m hanging my worries and cares from work so I don’t take them home with me". So many times we let those cares and worries creap into our homes. I can honestly say first hand, it isn’t good for the family life.

So what is the answer?

There is no answer! Each and every person is different. We cope differently, we adjust differently and adapt differently to situations around us. Joe Samson over in Sales may find out about the layoffs and go home and kill himself. Lucy Lu will go home and have a nice meal with her boyfriend (who has NO kids by the way) and forget about it all until the next day. Everyone is different and nobody is perfect. I am not qualified to give advice, but I can tell you from my personal experience something that can really help to cope with these issues. Everyday when I get home from work I’m greeted by my family. To see my children look up at me and smile those big smiles means more to me than anything in this world. My wonderful wife who I love so much, has always been supportive of my work woes and has always lended an ear when I needed to talk. I apologize to them all the time for acting too stressed or too tired after getting home. Having someone to talk to REALLY helps when you’re feeling down. If things are going bad at work, talk to a friend or a loved one. It makes a HUGE difference when you talk to someone outside of the situation. After you try and explain the situation to them, you realize that maybe 50% of the “rumors” floating around the office are true. You begin to analyze the facts based on the gossip and you will eventually figure out the truth. Lucky Lu can’t possibly have 5 kids, she’s only 25 years old, she has never talked of them and she has NO pictures up in her cubical.

Not much of a rant, just expressing my thoughts and ideas digitally to the world as I see them. Family will always come first in my life and I will never let that change.

Cheers,

Al