Calm the Hell Down Already!

This should be a mantra, not only for me, who definitely has the tendency to get frantic at stupid shit rather easily, but some of the people I work with. Most of them, actually. Our main system had a few errors and our manager came in and told us that the system was down. Instead of leaving it at that, knowing that everyone knew about it, my team called me from 850 miles away to find out what I was going to do about it, what they should do, and how I was going to fix the errors generated by the system. Seriously. Like I was Jeannie and could magically fix it. *crossing arms, doink!*

I had a 15 minute conversation with them and answered questions and dumped water on their fears. It accomplished nothing. The moment I was off the phone, they changed their minds, had another discussion amongst themselves, and continued freaking out. My system stopped working, so I went on break for a bit, came back, and everything was perfect. They wasted like 25 minutes freaking out and making all these panicked contingency plans as though they were being attacked by xenomorphs and had no Ripley to rely on.

I can do the same thing, whether it’s with money or changes at work or even writing issues. The point is that when you calm down, step away, and give things a little time, you can approach them with a cleared mind more capable of rational thought.

As with the previous example, all they needed to do was go get some water, take a break, and chat for a while, knowing that their butts were covered with the manager knowing everything. Me? I rested for a moment and got something to drink. The system was being worked on, and we just needed to calm down and come back less than a half hour later.

Of course, life’s problems aren’t all solved by walking away from them. Quite the opposite, in fact. But I think the real lesson here is that when you can’t do anything at all and you’re sitting there, gridlocked, impotent, and frustrated, sometimes all you need to do is step away, calm your ass down a bit, and then come back to the project. Usually that rest will have given you the distance and insight to really tend to your duties, and will allow you to see the problems with more clarity, rather than lamenting that they are all encompassing.

 

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~ by Darren Endymion on September 23, 2016.

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