the gift of getting to give

Posted: December 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

One of my very favorite things about my job is the opportunities that it gives me to surprise people with better help or service than they had imagined getting.  A small example of that:  today, one of our residents called me up.  He had been struggling to print labels for Christmas cards, using his computer.  His database of names and addresses was in his computer, but he couldn’t figure out how to make it work.  And in the process of trying to do so, he felt like he had somehow lost the information perhaps altogether.  A friend had loaned him a flash drive and helped him move the database in question to it.  Could I help him?

I told him to come on down.  We plugged in the drive and found the file.  I saw why he couldn’t find the information – Excel had him on a different “tab” and the page that opened was blank.  I quickly found the right tab and did a quick mail merge, printing up his labels in about 3 minutes.  As I worked on that, he told me how he regretted not breaking the first and last names up into separate columns, so that they could be sorted differently. 

“Hold on,” I told him, “I know a quick trick for that.”  I was picturing all the time it would take him to figure out how to create new columns and retype everything.  No need for that, when I know the processes to let Excel do the hard work!  A few clicks later, we were customizing the last few details and he was shaking his head, marveling, and saying over and over how many hours he and his friend had been trying to make this process work. 

I LOVE IT when that happens.  I love it when I can grab a task that feels overwhelming to someone and just fix it *presto* like that.  I love the smiles of pleasure and surprise.  I love the math of it – my 5 minutes can save you 2 hours.  I love being able to say, “my pleasure,” and “please, come by any time if I can help,” and not feeling any dread in making the offer. 

I know that administrative tasks are not everyone’s thing.  I’m sure that some people look at my desk full of papers and my two huge computer screens, side by side, and think they would never want to do my job.  But I really do love what I do, and I never get tired of making my boss and others smile when I can organize something or create something or fix something and make it look easy.  Guess that’s why I’m called to where I am! 

I hope you are finding something about your job that makes you smile with pleasure, even if it’s just one little thing.  We all oughta have the one little thing, eh?



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