Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lessons Learned

Last week my father retired.  Below is the toast I wrote for his dinner.

Everything I needed to learn for work I learned from my dad….

Lesson 1:  If you don’t like it, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.  I don’t think this has ever needed to be directed at me, but I think of it often when people start complaining.  I am not fond of people who complain – especially because I have never seen a complainer who really has it that bad.

Lesson 2: Be Neat.  Many years ago, my dad was helping me with some school math homework.  The accountant in him insisted that I line up the numbers.  This could have perhaps made me anal now about presentations and such, but it is true.  Your work is a representation of yourself and I am always amazed at how many people out there don’t care about what their work looks like.

Lesson 3: Take Responsibility.  If you are going to take on something, then take it on, but know you are responsible for it.  This would explain why I moved a schnauzer from Texas to Turkey, and two cats from Istanbul to Dubai.  No animal left behind!

Lesson 4: Solve Problems Creatively.  Not that long ago I learned that in order to break my toddler pacifier habit, my dad rubbed it in dirt and told me the cat pooed on it.  Needless to say I did not want to touch the thing again.  I have not resorted to such methods at work, but these psychology techniques could come in handy.

Lesson 5: Organize Your Space.  Actually, I don’t think this was ever verbalized, and for good reason.  When I walked into my dad’s office one day I saw this sea of papers spread across the desk.  But yet, he knew exactly where everything was.  I think this is a genetic thing.  Be sure if my things are organized, I cannot find anything.
Lesson 6:  The Early Bird Catches the Worm. I am sure there is a lot of truth to that, but I am not sure this one ever caught on with me.  As you know, if the gym employees were smart, they would have given my dad a set of keys to open up for them by now.  I have had to kind of modify this one to keep up with my husband’s Mediterranean background and the Dubai work pace.  In Turkey the early bird will fall asleep at dinner and in Dubai the early bird never gets to leave the office any earlier.  However, I still think there is a lot of truth to it even though I don’t like worms.

Lesson 7:  Learn to do it yourself.  While I may not be able to change my own oil in a modern-day car engine, I do know how to take care of myself and do not expect others to do it for me.

Lesson 8: Use your Noodle.  Yes, if only people would use their brains and think!

Lesson 9: Earn it.  Don’t expect handouts and work for what you want.

Lesson 10:  Work now, play later.  All those summers I worked through my youth while my friends were travelling and what not…  I’m not sorry I worked, but I think it is important to play too.  

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