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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Both Ends And The Middle

Doesn't it sometimes seem like your life is crazy and nobody else can compare?  Sure seems that way to me.  We go around in our lives with a "to-do" list as long as our arm and try to survive what it takes to get through it.  That can mean that when we're interacting with others we may be a bit short-tempered, never realizing that they are going through the same things.

I'll see this often with my clients.  They are hoping to rush in and rush back out since they have to pick up the kids, plan for a party, clean house, and so on.  When we don't usher them from the front desk to the room and back out again in 10 minutes, they get a bit miffed.  After all, they have so many other things to do, they can't take the time to wait like a normal visit, and expect us to hurry it up.  Unfortunately, quality service usually can't be rushed.

Now this isn't really a complaint against my clients.  Actually, it's a realization from the other side of the fence.  Lately my wife and I have been burning the proverbial candle at both ends AND the middle.  Here's a quick list of the things that keep me busy in my life....
Hospital manager
Father to two
Volunteering in community theater
Leading a geek/fan ministry online
One of the leaders in my local church
Teaching online for a local college
And that's just a list of my regular responsibilities, without getting into the details of the numerous things I do for each.  That also doesn't include things like helping my wife keep the house picked up and trying to find time to simply relax, peruse the internet, read, or blog.

Today I was rushing to the theater to get ready for the show.  I'm managing the lobby and have it decorated for Halloween and have to bee there at least 90 minutes before curtain to make sure everything is in order, as well as put on my own costume.  I was sitting in the drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant waiting at the window for my order and started to feel very impatient.  If I didn't get my food quickly, I was going to have to rush even more! I started tapping my fingers on the steering wheel and could feel my muscles tighten.  They were making fresh fries, so it was taking longer than normal. But I had to get going! At that point I made myself realize that they were doing their job, I was going to get fresher food, and it wasn't their fault that I was the one in a hurry.  There was no reason for me to take it out on them by getting short-tempered.

When I'm at work I have to try and put aside the thousands of other things running through my mind and concentrate on my cases.  But while I'm reading lab results I may start to think about the decorations I need for the theater.  While I'm doing a spay my thoughts may drift to the exam I need to make for the online class.  Like everyone else, I often have to juggle multiple ideas and priorities, keeping them all straight.

So the next time any of us get hurried and stressed, remember not to take it out on that doctor, waitress, cashier, or any other person.  Chances are that they have just as many things that they're dealing with also.  Let's show each other a tad more courtesy.