Life Lessons


I hate school!!! But I love learning. Learning new things about others, yourself, life in general is essential happiness and joy. When people stop desiring new information, knew experiences, they withdrawal from the world. Now if I could somehow keep the learning but lose the homework, group projects, and tests school would not be so bad. LOL

I have had a life lesson recently and learned a little something that made me think a little differently. I started a new job a few months ago. This position is a bit more responsibility than my previous position. I have always performed well in school (despite my dislike) and work environments and expect nothing different in this new position. Overall things are going really well and my immediate supervisor seems pleased. Unfortunately there has been a couple of incidence that has cast me in a negative light with my supervisor’s boss.

The first incident occurred a couple weeks ago. I turned in a document to my supervisor for review that I would eventually have to present to upper management for an approval. My supervisor returned the document to me with the go ahead to submit it to uppermangement and present it in person for approval. While going over the document again preparing for my presentation I discovered three typos. When I notified my supervisor of my errors she admitted that she had rushed through reviewing it. She also informed me that she would not be attending my presentation but her boss would. I fixed the errors and informed my supervisor’s boss of the situation. She advised me to bring the corrected document to my presentation. I brought the corrected version to the meeting, presented my information and received approval from upper management. Even though things went well I was upset. Coming into a meeting with uppermanagement with replacement documents because of my typos is not the impression I’d like to give at my new job.

The second incident occurred this week. I received an email originally sent to my supervisor from someone outside of my organization because my supervisor had the day off. The email had several questions regarding the procedures for bringing in visitors. Being new at the agency I did not know the answer. I also don’t know many people so I did not know who to ask. I asked a co-worker on my team and she found someone that she thought could help me. Unfortunately he only confirmed that the person I really needed to talk to also had the day off.

I responded to the email apologizing for not being able to provide the information in my supervisor’s absence and advised that my supervisor would be in the following day before 6:30 am. Unfortunately the email sender notified her boss of my unablitly to answer the questions. The sender’s boss immediately contacted someone form upper management (my supervisor’s former boss – the same one form the incident above) for the information. For clarification, let me state we are in the middle of re-organization and as of April 1 my supervisor was given a new boss to report to, who we’d not yet met. Because of the transition it did not occur to me to ask the former boss to help me respond to the email. The former boss then came to me and chastised me stating I cannot send emails out “like that” and I should never say I don’t know and in the future to ask her (even though she is no longer in my chain of command).

What troubled me about the second incident was not someone form upper management correcting me. It was her tone and approach. She came at me as though she assumed I’d not asked anyone for help or direction and simply read the email and replied I don’t know. She talked to me as thought I was trying to get out of doing my work. When I tried to explain who I’d tried to reach for help she did not want to hear that. Her overall attitude towards me was as thought she felt I was a slacker. From her point of view, 1st I turn in work with typo’s, then I respond to emails saying I did not know the answer without coming to her for help. Sadly when I discussed this with my immediate supervisor upon her return to work she concurred that her former boss did give the impression that she thought I was a slacker.

I have never been a slacker when it comes to work. I do my job to the best of my abilities and am usually recognized/ rewarded for it. I can say confidently up to this point no one who has worked with me would describe me as a slacker.
Unfortunately none of those people are at my new job to vouch for me and a person from upper management (that I actually respect and had hoped to get to know better) has developed this opinion based on two isolated instances.

So what is the life lesson? Proofread all of your work 10 times before handing it in to be proofread? No. Never admit to not knowing something and BS your way through it or ask every one you can think of no matter how long it takes to respond? No. The life lesson I have received from this experience is maybe I should not be so quick to judge others and form opinions. The 1st or even 2nd impression is not always accurate. How many people have who may have respected and hoped to get to know me have I misjudged and not given them a chance? How many meaningful relationships have I missed out on because I jumped to the wrong conclusion about someone’s character? How many joyful experiences could those people have brought to my life?

Joy is largely about opportunity, the opportunity to experience well-being, success, good fortune, as well as the opportunity to posses what you desire. I cannot limit opportunity and still Chase Joy. So I will work on being slower to judge and allow myself more opportunities to get to know people and see what joy they can bring to my life. Who knows maybe I can bring some Joy to theirs as well.

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