Don't judge the contents by its box
I am so making fun of myself in this week’s blog. Two years ago, I received a package in the mail from my company’s head office in Montreal. I am considered a field based employee so I have a home office. The package was a box of printer toner; or at least that’s what I assumed it to be. I recall at the time thinking to myself that it was strange that my coordinator would have sent me a toner cartridge without me ordering one, but I brushed it off assuming that perhaps they had access inventory of toners and decided to auto ship them to the field employees in order to get rid of them. I placed the box under my desk alongside the stacks of printer paper and that is where the box resided for two years.
This past month, my printer started to warn me that its toner was low and it needed to be replaced. Knowing that I had a toner ready to go, I kept putting it off and ignoring the message. It was not until this past week that the cartridge completely ran out and I was forced to go under my desk and reach for that box that had been sitting there for the past couple of years. I opened the box, and to my surprise I found an envelope addressed to my name; “that’s odd” I thought to myself, why would a box of toner have an envelope with my name inside of it? I opened up the envelope to find a letter congratulating me on my 10 year anniversary with my company. Ooops! I quickly removed the brown packing paper and realised that there was no toner cartridge inside, rather a crystal paper weight with my name and 10 years of recognition engraved in it. Silly me! This was a classic case of making the wrong assumption! After laughing at myself for a few moments and listening to my husband call me silly, I soon realised that this little incident of mine was a lesson to learn a lot from.
It happens more often than not in life, we are quick to judge, quick to make assumptions and don’t take the time to either listen or ask the right questions. So why is this? Why are we so quick to make up our minds about someone or something? I believe for the most part it lies in the fact that we live in a society that is on overdrive. We are, for the most part, always in a rush to get somewhere or do something that should have been done yesterday. This speed that is moving us forward is what I think stops us from taking the time to just be, and be focussed. My experience this week reminded me that I need to slow down sometimes and focus on what I am doing so that I don’t make quick decisions or silly assumptions. I know myself all too well, that day that I received the package I was probably multi-tasking and thinking about 10 other things; all of which stopped me from opening the box. Instead I made a quick assumption and even more quickly just threw it under my desk, ignoring my initial reaction of thinking it was strange to have recieved it in the first place.
So what can we all take away from this example of what I would call “a classic Lina example”? Slow down, take the time to do things properly, be focussed, listen before judging and last but not least – open up your mail :)