Thursday, August 20, 2015

Can I help You?

Kerry Olivia Washington Pope is swan-posing in agreement.

Dance is my job, and I loveee it. But I still have to pay bills and keep Sallie Mae off my back (she’s sooo thirsty ya’ll), so I still have a day job.  I work a front desk job, which can be interesting for a number of reasons – the word “interesting” being a euphemism for everything on a spectrum from ‘decidedly mundane’ to ‘genuinely interesting’ to ‘Ohh Lordt! why me??’ If you work in any type of front desk/office manager/admin assistant/service role – you know exactly what I’m saying.  
The other day, I had a ‘why me’ day. I typically greet folks with a, “can I help you?” and a smile. A few different people took it upon themselves to catch attitudes with me over things I had absolutely no control over.  So, that was fun.
 I'm going somewhere with this, probably. Let's find out together after the jump...

 I work for other people – these other people had made them angry  - and said attitudinal parties rolled eyes and aired their grievances to me over problems I didn’t create, had no knowledge of, and could not fix, even though I wanted to help since it is my job and all.
As I took a walk outside to clear my head and mutter choice words under my breath (don’t worry, I repented. Jesus and I are cool), I started to consider a life lesson in all of this. Though I was frustrated, those ornery heifers (sorry, I might still be bitter) were probably even more frustrated. They needed help and they were stuck talking to someone who could do nothing for them because I was the logical party to complain to. How many times do we willingly do this to ourselves though? We have situations we need help with so we go to the most logical party, usually a friend, and air our grievances and get advice, but many times we fail to realize that the most logical party isn’t necessarily the most qualified party, even though they want to be helpful.
My pastor has this saying, “If you’re the smartest person in your circle, your circle is too small.”  #TrueStory. I’ve had to come to the realization that my circle is too small – it’s not that I’m smarter than all the people – I know some awesomely smart people – it’s simply that I am entering other phases of life that some haven’t experienced yet and, if I need advice or have questions, I need to seek out folks who have been there/are doing/have done that. Or, at least, someone I trust. Conversely don’t ask me no questions about starting a business, babies, or flying to the moon. I have yet to do any of these things – and, though I may have opinions, I have no knowledge (learn the difference & save yourselves some trouble). It can be uncomfortable to step outside of yourself and seek out these people, but it must be done (I’m looking at you fellow introverts and shy types). We all need people who can see our lives from the outside to speak into our lives and lend some wisdom.
Basically there are some things your people just can’t help you with. Consider asking yourself, “how they can help me?” And then really consider, can they help you? And if you know anyone who can help with that whole flying to the moon thing, I’d like to talk to them. They’re probably interesting.
 In this month's Self, Ms. Kerry Olivia has some awesomeness to say about it all. Listen to her fierce-pilates-caramel wisdom:  

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