I watched a group of men argue about a job for an entire day. One of the men argued about the equipment and the other argued about the supplies. Another argued about the man power because obviously nobody knows what they’re doing these days and another man argued that everyone was too busy arguing, “So why don’t you all just shut up and get to work!”
Keep in mind, this was not an easy job. This was not a clean job either. This was an abatement. The crew was removing asbestos, which is not a job that should ever be taken lightly.
There were two separate areas and two separate crews at work. The team that argued continued to argue. Meanwhile, they had all the supplies they needed . The other crew, however, had less men, less supplies, and more work with more difficulties to deal with.
Guess who finished first?
As the one team argued, the other team worked through lunch, they skipped their breaks, finished early, and as promised by one of the supervisors (who, by the way, was one of the men arguing with his crew) they packed up to leave early and enjoy the rest of the day.
The foreman came over to let the supervisor know they were done and that his crew was about to leave.
The supervisor stopped them and explained the job was not finished.
The foreman argued that it was.
The supervisor pointed out that it wasn’t.
The foreman argued that they finished their share.
“But we have more work here . You can’t just leave,” said the supervisor.
“Maybe if you spent more time working and less time arguing, you guys would be finished too,” responded the foreman.
The foreman turned to his crew and told them to go home.
I remember the supervisors face when the foreman turned away. He was angry but he also knew the foreman was right.
The rest of the night was pretty quiet. The men and the supervisor argued less and worked more.
Before leaving, the foreman said his goodbye to me. He told me, “I get it. There’s a lot of work to be done. There are a lot of things wrong with the job too. But either way, the job still has to get done. So why bother arguing?”
“Just figure it out,” he told me and then he left to go enjoy the rest of his day.
I sat in a meeting as an entry level invite to join a team that looked to create a new program to help people in need.
Everyone had great ideas. Everyone had so much energy. The room was filled with passion. Everyone also had their own agenda. They had their needs and their wants. They wanted their programs to be pushed as a priority.
Meanwhile, all they did was have meetings and talk about which program works and which program does not.
They talked a lot. They planned a lot too but nothing was ever executed. Nothing meaningful was ever accomplished. All they did was validate their jobs and their efforts and talk about what needs to be done.
Back when I was in my late 20’s, I spent an entire summer at work during the weekends and sweating my ass off in an old building and painting inside of a stairwell from the 26th Floor down to the third sub-basement. I painted the walls and the ceiling first. Then I painted the floor. I worked several hours each day on overtime and no less than 8 hours but no more than 12 hours on Saturdays.
The job paid well but my partner decided he didn’t want to paint anymore, which meant the job was mine and mine alone.
There was no turning back now. It was too late. I took the commencement and now I had to finish; otherwise, I would lose my job.
I had to keep going. I had no choice. I made progress, slowly but surely. I did not push too hard or work too quickly. I kept a constant and realistic pace, did what I could, and then I kept going from one floor to the next.
I learned the best thing to do is the only thing to do; I have to be consistent and persistent. I have to keep my focus and stay clear of distractions.
Otherwise, I’m screwed!
I see people argue on a daily basis.
I watch people complain about life and shake their first at the sky.
I see people with big dreams and high hopes and they talk about their goals and their plans to achieve them but yet, they do nothing so nothing happens.
I spent years arguing.
Where did it get me?
I spent most of my life, angry, and nurturing my need to be heard and validated.
But to what avail?
What has this done for me?
Someone I value greatly in my life always says the same thing.
You gotta stop dicking around!
I agree . . .
I can’t argue anymore.
I just can’t . . .
I don’t want to talk anymore.
I don’t want to sit in another meeting to discuss plans and strategies.
I want to build
I want to create
Most of all, I don’t want to waste another day complaining.
I have work to do.
So let me do it.
This way I can go and enjoy the rest of my life with you.