Ever wished for perfection? Ever wondered why nothing is perfect? Ever thought that perfect, structured, standard things become routine and boring. Ever wonder why?
Why us humans seek perfection not knowing what it actually means.
Ever thought how your right side is different from the left side, and that specific unmeasured unnoticeable difference is what makes you more beautiful? How this variety and imperfection makes you stand out more?
How nature has taught us that nothing, at all, is ever perfect, and that is why it is so beautiful and this beauty is so hard to explain and even try to imitate no matter how developed in our technologies we get.
Today I am changing my topic.I want to talk about something that happened at work.
It touched me so much, struck my heart, and shook the human out of me in such a subtle way, that I really want to talk about it.
To give you a little background about my career,I used to work in Human Resources, and I recently moved to Training, still somewhere there in the same waters.
An employee had been asking some question for quiet some time , and it seems he has missed his training. After seeing so many emails that were sent from one side of the world to the other by some other person , I decided to simply call him.
Funny thing, I didnt hesitate about my “grooming standard” my hair was wrapped in a messy bun , face with no makeup, pale bubbly eyes, and heart full of confidence that I will definitely solve his issue and he will hang up the call with a smile.
He was complaining nobody replied to his request, and I could feel some frustration,however I had to explain that he has received several emails which he missed out on.
I started looking into things, until I figured that he just missed out the meeting link. What he said at this moment flew and sat inside my heart heavily with a yellow smile as we say he said ” I feel embarrassed”.
My first reaction was to start joking, making it no big deal, then I started being realistic saying I also don’t notice these emails because they just look too dull and the title is so “automatic”. And I was telling him some tips and tricks on how to identify these emails for the future.
We both hung up with a smile, but I felt an icredible amount of sadness, guilt, and burden, that a person, would feel embarrased to make a simple mistake. They could be such great workers, managers, leaders, and still feel shame to have missed something as silly and simple as an email or a link.
I felt sad that, a person felt embarrased for something as simple as human error, as stress, as lack of focus in a moment of chaos, as just not noticing these automated system emails which seem to be addressing robots instead of humans.
I, myself, dislike reading the same emails which I send to others, and then I started not caring about “standard email etiquette”, I stopped typing those dull subjects which are just demotivating to even open and read, and I started using a more human, more personalized approach, a bit more friendly, and a bit less robotic style, and would imagine the person standing infront of me, listening to my voice instead of reading a dear Mr. X Email , “kindly note that my brain stopped functioning while I type this email and therefore I am just typing super extra elegant more complex choice of wording in order to seem more knowledgeable about something which to be honest I don’t even know it exists but I will be exploring it with you best regards.”
I felt sad , that I had to hear a word like embarrassment be used in a workplace where we are not all experts in all matters, and where we are paid to actually support others in any questions they might have, to hold their hand and help them notice this missed email, this missed link, and remind them to take a break, breath, and ask for anything that might make their brain a bit less loaded.
I felt sad that embarrassment, should not exist in such context, and I felt sad, that this amongst many other toxic feelings are still things employees experience in their daily working life.
And then I think of how many hours an average person spends in their life in certain job, how many hours invested in the same place, how many hours spent talking to these once called strangers who now we know, hear and see more than our own families. And in such a place, where you live every single day, 5 days a week, 9 hours a day, over 12 months, and then again and again, in such place, it is still recently being discussed the psychological well being , physical well being, balance, and detoxifying. How evolved humankind was, however how late in this discovery, that happiness and safety, is number one necessity in any environment , where humans spend their time.
And imagine how many total years of your life, you spend apologizing for being a human, for having emotions, for missing out on something just because, and for so many other things that you are better off without.
So yes , a simple word was enough to make me feel guilty for showing him his mistake, no matter how smooth my way was, I explained how this has upset me , and that I wouldn’t want any of these emotions to happen, and that I am there to help, and that he is a human, and that this only shows how busy he is not to read his emails with much focus, and the list continues…
And you know? I got the best answer that for me, was one of the highlights of my working year, “thank you very much for your words”.
You see its enough, a few human words, words of feeling and coming from the same place, words of empathy and understanding. All enough to ease someone’s day or moment, and to make them just be comfortable with the simple shortcomings of being a human being far away from perfectionism. We were not built on six sigma basis ( for those who are not familiar six sigma is minimizing defects to a minimum to achieve 99.9996% accuracy), nor did we achieve a 100%. We are just there , trying to pull of survival, love, sadness, grief, missing,growing up, and working to be able to look in the mirror and admit to ourselves that we are “succeeding”.
We tied our worth in so many external things, that we forgot the fact that trying to pull it off, is a success itself. Admitting to vulnerability is the highest peak of strength, and admitting that imperfection is ok, is the way to perfection itself.
If I would let myself write about the workplace, and my aspirations , it would be a never ending topic.. I will just end it with one thought, I am going to be happy of the person I am, and for one thing I will keep doing at work, is reminding people that they are human, and for me to be the safe space to be this imperfect human. If there is one thing that drives me to stay in corporate world, is having the complete conviction that I will be there helping these people who are by chance all in one place for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week, to help each other be human, and with that I would try my hardest, to make these 9 hours, “embarrasment free”.
With all this talk about perfection and imperfection, I won’t explain things and I will let you connect the dots.
“Dear reader, kindly stop caring about how people think about you, whether you miss out an email , and go suddenly blinded , to miss a simple click and instead, be proud, that you are a human, not a robot, a human full of errors to be probably “fixed” and have a good laugh about how you are just imperfect. And make sure that along the way, you make at least one person, comfortable about making a mistake, comfortable talking about it, confident fixing it, and make sure you give them a reason to have a good laugh about it. 1 person only is enough to start driving change.best regards.”
And if you can keep this in the back of your mind somewhere, yes , it is naive to think you can change the world, but I am a strong believer in the ripple effect, it only starts with 1 person.
“And if I have to be the stone thrown into the water, then let it be :)” said my inner rebel.
More to come on this topic :)…
Leaving you with a picture of some beautiful imperfect trees in Lebanon💜