Sunday, November 29, 2015

No One is Ever 100% Wrong (Or right for that matter.)

Hey, can I stop over in a few?

I thought you were working until 9?

I was. ((((Some Silence)))) We were slow so they told me I could leave early. Can I stop by? 

"I'm crazy but I ain't real dumb." David Crosby, Cowboy Movie

It's Black Friday, you are an assistant manager at a nationally known boutique and you're slow?

The Cliff Notes version goes like this:

There had been a management change 4 months ago. The old manager thought she'd hung the sun. She was their top producer, the golden child. Life was good. Corporate people were talking bonuses and promotions.

"Life is good please enjoy it while it lasts." DMX, Ain't No Sunshine

Her mentor left the company and when the new manager arrived she began creating a different environment. She wasn't so much about sales and competition as she was about unity and teamwork and everyone being successful.

The proverbial 180

In short, her boss told her to adjust her attitude or maybe it might be time to move on. Her career goals were not in alignment with the new regimes way of doing business. Square peg in a round hole and all that stuff. She was devastated. She'd made a complete investment in this job. Not only does she enjoy working retail she is good at it.

Bad news, in our family travels faster than a brush fire. Siblings banged their chests in support and proclaimed they would never shop in that store or any of its affiliates ever again.

Did I say "Ever?"

I sat at the kitchen table looking out the window.

Joan shot me one of those "Are you going to say anything looks?"

No one is ever as good as you think and no one is ever as bad as you think. 

Ray Taylor taught me that. He was one of my first bosses and he told me that it is never, ever an all or nothing proposition especially when it comes to dealing with people. The best will one day disappoint us and the worst will one day surprise us.

Now, the dad in me wanted to get in the car and go beat a few people up and start a social media campaign that would put the company out of business. How dare someone hurt my little girl!

But little girls grow up and sometimes being a growling father pawing the ground is not in anyone's best interest.

I don't understand dad. 

It means your boss isn't 100 percent wrong and neither are you. There is some wisdom in both of your  positions. My advice is to find a common ground and work together. 

I told her it was natural and normal to hurt and be angry.

This life we live was never meant to be easy. The challenges, the struggles, the failures and disappointments we experience are the dings, nicks and scrapes of this world.

It's sad but true; there are no absolutes, no 100 percents, just a lot of wriggling and maneuvering to create the optimal degree of comfort Some days we have to look into that corner of ourselves we'd rather not see and do a bit of housekeeping painful as the process may seem.The advice I gave her went something like this:

Call your mentor and ask for her guidance. She knows the geography much better than I do. Listen to what she has to say.

When you go back to work tomorrow sit down with the boss and ask her to make a list of the areas she feels you need to improve in. Ask her to meet with you weekly and give you feedback on your performance.

The coach and consultant in me says there is lots to learn for both of them.

The dad in me just hugged her.