Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hang Up Your Hat

Sometimes we know when it is time to quit what we are doing, slow down, and even put away the branding irons before we cross the bars on some heifer's flank. Tonight three phone calls came in while my class was needing help with tables, letters, and footnotes in reports--plus a couple of final tests. With my mind on the tests instead of the calls, I tried to put my phone in my bag and noticed that I had the mouse in my hand instead of the cell phone. Yeppers, definitely time to put away the branding irons.

Every five weeks one of the sections of a class will be having final tests for a subject. That means every five weeks we have an entire group of nervous nellies running around the school working themselves up into a tizzy. Today one student came in crying and told her story and how she got a ticket in a work zone--with NO insurance--ad havoc. We listened and then took her to our clinicals teacher. Her blood pressure was so high that he made her sit down and rest quietly before she had a stroke. Nothing in life is worth that kind of health hazard.

But I started thinking about the student's problem. She wasn't paying attention to her speed because she was upset about something else that happened this morning. Her mind was not on her current activity. She didn't put her mouse in her bag, but she put her anger in her driving.

We all seem to have a tendency to think that we can multi-task and have everything come out just fine. Sitting here shaking my head. No, some things just need special concentration or we reap the consequences. Putting a mouse in my bag was no biggie. But what if I had been using the paper shredder and had papers in both hands--one to shred and one to file. Maybe that really wouldn't be a disaster. But it certainly could have caused some problems.

Today I went to see a specialist in one of the medical fields. His attention to detail amazed me, but when we completed the examination, I was thoroughly appreciative of his attention. He made sure that what we had feared was not one of the problems we were going to have to face. No, we didn't find the source of the problem yet, but I have a feeling that he won't quit until he knows what is wrong and why. He didn't worry himself with details about his business. He dealt with ME and my problem. I wish more people would take the time to concentrate on the job that they have chosen to do. Yes, I know. My cell phone shouldn't even be ringing in the classroom, and normally it doesn't because my students pay for my time--they deserve my attention to the details they need for their education. The same holds true for any job: the waitress needs to get the order right; the mechanic needs to listen and look for problems that might cause future problems; the pharmacist needs to be sure the medications won't conflict with meds already being taken.

Basically we need to hang up our hats and give it a rest if we are too tired to deal with our work on the best level. The truckers and other long distance drivers need to pull up and rest--while the ladies with the cars full of kids need to get things calmed down before they ever get on the road. And for pity sake, put those danged cell phones away or pull over to talk and text! Stay off my bumper; stop for red lights; and don't run over those kids in the crosswalks! Life is in the details, but concentrate on one at a time if it can be a matter of life and death. This is not just a calf we're branding. This is a life to be living!

1 comment:

Carla said...

Best line: "She didn't put her mouse in her bag, but she put her anger in her driving." Much too true of me sometimes, too. Thanks for the reminder about priorities.