Well, it’s Monday again. And thanks to the wonders of advance posting, this should be going live even while I’m making sure that our next generation can hear. Here’s something a little motivational to get you through the week. I don’t promise to make a habit of this, but I like the alliteration.
I’m going to share a secret with you. While I rather dread having to go to work, I tend to enjoy myself while I’m there—particularly at the library.* Here’s how:
For people who work a fairly regular schedule, it’s a matter of logic and math. (If you’re putting in lots of overtime or are freelancing, this may not work for you.) You’ll have to translate the 4 hours to 8, but this probably applies to your job too.
1. Since I work part-time at the library, I am there for 4-hour shifts.
2. I may be there 10 minutes early and stay a few minutes late, but my shift has a definite beginning and end.
3. Therefore, I will be at the library for approximately 4 hours.
4. Really, I’m going to be there. There’s nothing I can do to get paid for 4 hours except work for 4 hours.
5. So why not smile and enjoy myself?
What’s the alternative? Make myself miserable? Waste 4 hours of my life by feeling down or grumpy? Perhaps it helps that I have a strange devotion to libraries.
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not all happiness and bunnies. Besides having to deal with the general public (sometimes a frustrating lot!), I have a boss who’s a complete…enigma. No one really understands her or how she got to that position.
But you know something, I’m going to be there for 4 hours and I might as well consider her one of those elusive Zen masters who teaches you happiness and patience by confusing the heck out of you. It’s like a game, wondering what she’ll ask you to do next, wondering when or if she’ll realize how nonsensical her request is.
I’ve even learned to appreciate her one extremely useful skill. She’s quite good at telling patrons “No.” I like having someone to back me up and when she does, she does it with conviction and authority. She’s not as good at helping them resolve issues that we can help them with, but I don’t generally need backup for that.
When I do find myself getting stressed at work, I just remind myself of the points above. That’s why there’s so much repetition…I’m trying to drive it through my thick skull. I don’t discount the negative experience, I just start thinking about all the reasons why being grumpy about it won’t make anything better. That tends to work.
I relish whatever productivity I have and tell myself that any lack of productivity caused by the system is the system’s right since they’re the ones paying me. I don’t have to like it, I just have to handle it and do my best whenever I’m allowed. I smile when I talk to the patrons because it makes all of us feel happier. And I tend to leave work feeling pretty good, even if I’m tired.
*at the hospital, I have to deal with the uncertainty of medicine. I find it stressful when I think a baby can hear but its ears are still clogged with birthing debris. Especially if the baby is going home and I have to refer for followup. Or if the parents cry. Libraries are much simpler. But then I also get a rush from having a really good day where every baby in the nursery passes!
And then when I’m freelancing, it’s not like I work for specifically 4 hours, so I can’t tell myself that. *sigh* I do like the way freelance mixes with structure, so I doubt I’ll quit the library job.