Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Excel or excel...

Excel. Its an interesting beast. Today's post deals only slightly with Excel, the program, and more on excel - the definition of the word itself.

Interesting fact: People over the age of 40 don't automatically practice common sense. I mean, did this ever occur to you? I don't get it. I mean, its ok when you're a kid, but at 40? That's like 20 years of being in the work force and still not getting it. Lemme 'splain something to-joux (all made up words, my friends - please see Happy Feet for the correct pronunciation).

Case #1.
    Today, I decided that I would tackle one of those dumb projects that you never want to start, let alone finish. I was 97% of the way finished, when we had to take a moment and attend a really lengthy meeting that served a point, but where I would have rather had a nap. Ya heard? Anyway, I digress. I came back from said meeting, where everyone in my department was present mind you, and something was missing.... My Excel file, which was the location of said project, was gone. I mean, wiped-clean-off-of-the-face-of-the-earth, gone. My jaw hit the floor. I asked aloud, "Has anyone seen my Excel file?" And someone (who possesses an immensely dominant personality) timidly raised their hand and said, "I think I may have accidentally deleted it. Was it important?"




Not at all.

I mean, I guess not.

I mean, since you didn't bother to leave things that weren't yours alone, NAH. Not important at all.


Let me lay down the law of the land, just in case you, like said person, don't know:

   Rule #1: If its not yours, don't touch it.
   Rule #2: If you have seen someone working all morning at a workstation, and you go over to it, and you decide, "Hey. I have a great idea. I will close all of the windows that I don't want." --> This is NOT the right decision. Take a step back, turn around, and walk away.
   Rule #3: If you need that window to go away, just save the dang file.
   Rule #4: THINK. It benefits the world. Oh, and those around you. Because like it or not, we are a part of your world.
   Rule #5: Repeat step #4 until you come to a different decision than the one you were going to make. It may take a while. Progress always does.


Now, onto the definition of excel: to be exceptionally good at or proficient in an activity or subject.
I happen to excel at a few things.
    Number one: I excel at getting my work done correctly. I'm really proficient at my job and I genuinely love what I do.
    Number two: I am really good at bringing a South Philly attitude to the party when I think that a principle of life needs to be addressed. I know someone out there can attest to this.

Things that I am learning to excel at:
    Breathing deeply
    Letting it go
    Not bringing a South Philly attitude to the party when principles of life need to be addressed.

Ok, ok. So this is mostly satire and I am attempting to make light of this situation, and yet it still befuddles me. I went to lunch right after the incident, and I don't know that I actually cooled off. For the love of Pete, who do these people think they are? Simply because they don't have consideration for others...we all have to suffer. And I know you work with someone like this, or live with them, or are friends with them. We are these people at times. And man, oh man.

Regardless, I came back from lunch and simply addressed the person. Then they tried to cut me off! With apologies!!! Those should have come before I went to lunch! They should have come immediately after the recognition of what had happened! Geez Luis! Oi Vey. I held up my hand and asked the person to let me finish. I said, "Next time you see a program that isn't yours, or that you are not working on, would you mind not closing the program? I worked on that all morning. It would have taken 2 seconds to stay your hand from the close button. Please, next time, would you mind pausing those 2 seconds and asking about the program?" They were very apologetic (well, as apologetic as said person gets - so its fine), and we are moving on.

One activity that I think we can all excel on, no...I am now thinking of two.

   First: Let's excel at thinking of others before we think of ourselves.

    Case #2: Instead of blowing up at said person, I simply announced that I would be going to lunch, cleared it with my co-workers, and went and ate. I thought about all the horrid things I could say. I thought about how awful those actions would make me feel. And then I thought, "Ok. You have a decision to make. You can either be the person who is feared, or the person who is loved. Who do you want to be?"
    I really want to love others and be loved in return. I mean, the latter is just a bonus. But honestly, my actions would directly create reactions and I would bear the brunt of those. I decided to simply address the person directly, and as calmly as I could, and just say please. And I feel that 5 years ago, I would have lit that person up like the 4th of July. Sky High. For all the world to see. {That's the South Philly in me.} Now, I still want that. I just don't think its worth the cost. And people are worth so much. Lets invest in people.

  Second: Let's excel at extending grace.

    Case #3: This person, regardless of how inconvenienced I was by their actions, is still an awesome person. This person is incredibly efficient, they are a hard worker, they are brilliant, and a huge asset to our department in many, many ways. I admire said person. I love learning from said person. And I am learning so much by being around this person - learning about extending grace, for instance.  {wink!}
    When I mess up, or when I have messed up in the past, no one put/puts me on a platform for all the world to see and scorns me, or mocks me, or ridicules me in a way that is harming. No one has made me hold up a sign that says what I did wrong, and then posted it for everyone to comment on. No shaming has happened in that sense. Especially not God.
    Who am I trying to be more like? Ultimately, God. I am trying to emulate the best characteristics of those around me, but mostly, I am trying to emulate the Christlike attributes I see and that I feel. I always say that I am no Melanie Hamilton {Gone with the Wind reference}; I'm more of a Scarlett O'Hara (but not in the second half of the movie. She crosses the line when she marries that one guy who her sister likes. Yuck.). Fire and spirit. But I really want to be Melanie Hamilton. And I'll keep trying. Moments like today show me how far I've come.

Word of the day: excel

Definition: to be exceptionally good at or proficient in an activity or subject
Meaning: Let's be exceptionally good at thinking of others before we think of ourselves and extending grace to them.

We want the same thing in return. Let's give what we want to receive. Even if its hard. And you're still fighting mad about it 8 hours later. At least you'll see how silly you are; you'll see that you can't control those around you. You can only control how you let yourself feel. And now its time for chocolate. You can tackle the world tomorrow. But for today...breathe and extend that grace, sister.