“I’ll get around to it.” “ I was going to do that.” “Oh, you beat me to it.” I hear these comments on a frequent basis. Most people move more slowly than me, including some who go through life at a snail’s pace. When I start cleaning up their mess, picking their trash off the floor, or taking care of things I asked and intended for them to do, I usually hear one of the three above excuses. Yes, someone else will do it when the slow, lazy, and/or absent minded people have their cruise control set to coast, and often, I am that someone else. It is amazing to me that I seem to be the only one who can see the trash on the floor and be concerned about it to the point of bending down to pick it up. (As long term readers of David’s and my blog may recall, I once received a substantial bonus from a previous employer when the company’s CEO saw me picking up trash from the lobby of our corporate headquarters while dressed in a suit and high heels. I was not employed in the housekeeping department, however, I had enough pride in my workplace to keep it clean, such that picking up trash became part of my daily routine.) My mom used to tell me that I was so fast that I could “run circles” around almost everyone else and to this day, I still move through most of my activities with efficiency, never compromising accuracy. Many people are individualists, caring more about themselves than other people, with little regard for the impact of their behavior on the rest of us. I have been told I am a team player and although that may be true, from time to time, it would be nice for “someone else” to be someone other than me. Catch me if you can!
It becomes a personal challenge of mine to stay ahead of Melissa, where I can. And, there are many times when she wants something done that I’ve already accomplished. Further, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cleaned up something that she never saw on the floor and our counters, at home or the office. But, I agree with her that there have been many times, especially in the office, over the decades, that I wondered if I, and she, are the only ones paying attention to items such as paper shreds on the floor. I’m aware that our more conscientious staff pick up stuff that we’ll never see. But there have been times when I have wondered how they missed something so obvious, for hours or days. One of my concerns on research days is to be sure our cables are properly taped down to prevent anyone from tripping. We run thousands of feet of cable at every research project. We buy lots of expensive gaffer’s tape. The idea is to bunch the cables together and cover them with tape to ensure the safety of our team, our clients, and the mock jurors/participants. Recently we had some new team members who left cables exposed in potentially dangerous ways. I found myself pointing this out way more than I should, but I hope that they will learn. Time will tell, and yes, there are many details to pay attention to, but learning to see the small details and big picture are critical to getting the job done well.
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