Sunday, March 23, 2008

That was easy

I have a red "easy" button on my desk. It was a gift from a coworker and a friend. Every time I would walk out of my office, or hang up from a difficult phone call - or was about to face my destiny in some scary meeting, I take a deep breath and slam the easy button. And then I would feel better, because it reminded that nothing is that serious. No babies were being born as a result of what I do, and no lives would be lost today on my watch. No kittens to save and no burning buildings.

So what's the big deal? Why all the drama? Why does what happens in the corporate world tend to translate to something bigger than it really is?

One answer might be that we are believe what we do is important and deserves care and attention. Fair enough, but why all the drama, I ask? I would suggest that the source of this drama is possibly ego and fear. Often times, we are afraid of people with power because it can affect the quality of our lives beyond work - and our ego. Losing one's job, for example, is likely the most life - defining and devastating moment in the work place because it calls into question everything that we hold near and dear. Our job is one of the labels that we hold near and dear. "I am a .... fill in the blank. This translates to "I am important, I have these accomplishments and I make this much money." How many times have you heard someone say, I am a wife, mother, husband, brother, mother of another . . . I am a practicing whatever, and my zodiac sign is . . . .

Not too often. That is why the easy button is my best friend at work. When I raise my hand up, I inhale at the same time, and exhale on the way down. When I slam the button, all the stress is gone. And the voice reaffirms my feeling - That was easy.

No comments: