Friday, March 11, 2011

Don't Worry. Be Happy. (And yes, you'll be whistling that tune all day now. You're welcome.)

A recent Gallup poll found that my home state ranks #3 in the nation for the highest degree of well-being. (FYI - Hawaii came in #1 and Wyoming was #2).

The poll takers claim that well-being is measured by everything from being happy to exercising enough to having affordable housing.I've got a new one for ya, Gallup peeps. How about 'understanding and forgiveness'?

Within the past couple of months, I have made two - well, let's call them glitches - in my freelance work. One was a photo I took that actually wasn't what I thought it was even though it was published as such.


Of course I felt like a heel and apologized profusely. But the person who called my attention to the error - a reader (yikes!) - simply responded with, "Don't feel bad. Last week the TV station was out here and took video of the wrong thing too."

Whew. It did make me feel better, but I still had an editor to suck up to in hopes of not being black-listed.

But you know what? A week later he sent me another assignment. Now he may have been secretly trying to punish me because the deadline was super tight, but honestly - the guy could have said, "Have this to me in 15 minutes complete with charts and graphs" and I would said, "Yes, sir. No problem!" and had it to him in TEN minutes.

I think I'm back in his good graces now. Dodged a bullet there.

Or maybe there was no bullet.

Because this past week I goofed on a statistic in a story I wrote for someone else. Fortunately it hadn't published yet - it was caught in the midst of gaining approval from the client.

But it was one of those "Duh, of course that's wrong now that I read it again" mistakes.

I figured I was doomed.

But again, I was given more grace with "Don't worry! I did the same thing once..."

Wow. I was relieved for sure, but more than that I was so grateful.

Grateful for people that don't come unglued at every little mistake.

Grateful that I don't need to beat myself up over imperfections now and then.

And grateful I wasn't still in one of my former jobs where simple slip-ups like this would have resulted in verbal lashing from the company VP.

Yes, I had that boss once. The guy who is more interested in placing blame on someone than just fixing the problem.

He was brutal. I often asked myself what kind of person finds such joy in nailing someone to the wall when they could just say, "Don't worry about it. These things happen. We'll make the correction."

I wasn't in my home state then.

I was working in a state that ranked #29 in that aforementioned poll, by the way. So they must have polled at least a few of my former co-workers!! HA!

But truly, there is something to be said for a little empathy in the midst of overflowing in-boxes, impending deadlines and a typo here and there.

I know it sure made me happy. A top-of-the-charts happy, in fact.

(But I'd still take a trip to Hawaii.)

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