Friday, March 22, 2013

Start Out By Thinking

I've mentioned before, about a hundred million times, that I worked for 24 years with one company, before it closed 2 years ago. While I loved the work, after that much time I wasn't necessarily challenged. I used to joke that if they left me with a computer and a keyboard, I could still do my job if they removed my monitor.

The temp job I landed at the University wasn't terribly stimulating either. In a small, over-staffed office, my only bragging right was that I had custody of the key to the cabinet that held the red pens.

Fast forward, and I'm back in publishing and books, doing work I love. Internal restructuring 6 or 8 months into the new gig left me with more responsibilities while I was still getting my chops. That is, I knew how to do the work, but I was still learning how they do the work. On one hand, I was confident and sure. Publishing is publishing.

But internally, sometimes, my initial inner reaction to any question was thusly:

Lori, do we need to order more of this?

Who is is this vendor?

Where did this money come from?

Can we get a refund?

 Is there a contract?

It may be true that my initial responder can be a bit of a drama queen, but one thing I have going for me is my ability to drama down.

Also, I take advice from children. Shortly after I got news of my new role, I came across this image:

I laughed then, and I laugh now. I think all too often we run around squawking and creating stress and chaos over ridiculous crises, and really, all we need to do to fix a thing is to start out by thinking. Stop bitching, stop panicking, and stop making this bigger than it is. Think, for a second.

And the answer, or how to find the answer, always comes to me. In the workplace, at home, in personal relationships, in business transactions, or even spinning out on black ice on a country road: Shut up and use your damned brain for a second, Lori.

Sometimes the answer is just a matter of Google Search. Sometimes I have to get the answer by asking someone else that has the answer. And sometimes I come up with the wrong answer altogether, I end up in a country ditch, and I have to start thinking all over again.

It still remains that a great deal of my solutions can be found by following this kid's advice.

I wish I could find him, and tell him that his words of wisdom hang on my cubicle wall.


  1. Truer words... Especially the stop bitching part, I get so disappointed with myself when I spend time on negative thought. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. You're never negative!

  3. You're doing fine, just fine...
    and learning as you go, right?

  4. I hope so. I'm still not sure how to get out of a spin on black ice though.

  5. I hear turning your radio down helps. :D

  6. Amazing how smart the young one is............if we could just tap into that mind again. We sure wouldn't be as stressed!


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