Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff at Work

The day I let Todd get up on the custodian's floor cleaning Zamboni!
Hey, it was his birthday!!
And nobody got hurt!
Most of you will remember the staff difficulties I was having back in May and June when two of my educational assistants filed grievances re safety or lack thereof in their work environment due to having to work with students who can be aggressive from time to time. I was finding it all very stressful and was relieved when June 30th finally rolled around and I could forget about it for a while.

Over the summer I discovered a little gem of a book called "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff at Work." I've read some of the other "Don't Sweat..." books but this one has topped them all IMHO.  I have learned so much that is directly applicable to this on-going situation.  Here's an example:

"Unhappy people often feel victimized by others and their working conditions. It's difficult for them to be solution-oriented because everything is seen as someone else's fault. In addition, they are usually poor team players because they are often self-centered and preoccupied with their own issues. They are defensive and, almost always, poor listeners." p.6

This chapter goes on to talk about it being OK to be "happy" at work no matter what else is going on..."you'll feel more inspired, creative, and driven to make an even greater contribution than you do right now. You'll see solutions and opportunities where others see problems..." p.6

I can attest to the truth in those words. I no longer worry about anyone else. Some folks "thrive" on negativity and work hard to establish who is to blame for all of their problems. Me - I enjoy so much what I do and work hard to look after myself both mentally and physically. I feel like I am being a very positive force and hope I can set an example for others to follow. If they're with me that's great, if not, then they'll have to find their own way - I can't control them but I can live with that and be happy anyway. 

Todd was pretty proud of himself!
And I was pretty proud of him too...if only we'd had the key!!
One grievance has been dealt with and that EA has had to move on to a different school. The other one should be finalized soon and I already know it won't be in the EA's favour so she could be moving to another location too. It's been a long and painful process but it seems to have been a necessary process in order for these more challenging students to have the care and support that they need and deserve. I truly believe that when all the cards have been played I will have the staff I need to move forward and who will put the needs of the students first. 


~Carla~ said...

All you need to do is make the best of your own circumstances! :) If you want to be happy, be!

Lisa said...

It is true that you cannot be responsible for the attitudes of others. It makes you wonder how some individuals get along in life, doesn't it?

With your inner joy, (which is evident in all of your posts) you will definitely end up with the perfect EA's. No doubt in my mind.

Out My window said...

Good for you. I know getting good aids is so necessary in your field. There are a lot of bad ones out there. I hope you have better luck this time but it will be hard. These young people need good loving responsible help.

Michelle said...

What a wonderful revelation to embrace and own!

I wish I could have done that in my own situation but I don't tolerate abuse quietly. It's not how I roll. God knows how hard I tried, though. I chose to move on and away from the poison. I feel better for it!

Good on you, Jane!

SonyaAnn said...

I am so happy for you! That book seems wonderful. And it's like God sent those words to me today through you. I need them too. Thank you.

Marguerite said...

I've noticed there are certain people who create drama and negativity. They likely don't even realize they do it. But if we can see what they're doing and acknowledge it, as you have, then we have a better chance of not taking it personally and moving on with our own lives. Good for you for deciding to make your workplace a positive one!

Jane said...

Thanks everyone! Since I've allowed myself to be the joyful me that I am at work as well as in my personal life I have felt so much more at peace. Decisions made from this viewpoint are not only easier to make but feel right too. I am operating from a position of strength and confidence instead of feeling under attack.
I also decided that it doesn't matter if my staff like me or not - that's not really here nor there. As long as they listen and follow through with my instructions what they feel about me is meaningless.

Anonymous said...

wow this is soooo freaky! that seminar training I attended discussed this a bit! about how people don't 'make' us have emotions - that we choose to react or not...I think I'm about 10 steps behind you on stuff LOL! I still haven't read the 'don't sweat' books yet - I should!


The Borrower said...


You shouldn't sweat their negativity - sounds like they need to find new work (IMO). I agree that the job focus is on the students and not the drama.

And....can I get a ride on that zamboni? heehheee