Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Just don't say No"

There has been a shift in the way people view consent lately. It used to be that if someone wanted your approval on an issue you had to say "yes". These days it seems that silence on an issue indicates consent. So not saying No implies that you are saying Yes. The opposite is also true. Not saying Yes implies that you mean No. Silence is no longer golden.

Even salesmen who come to see me at work are taking this approach. It used to be that if a salesman wanted to drop in to see me, they had to first gain my approval by calling me and asking if they could come in to the plant. Now they are taking a different approach. They simply call after hours when they know I won't be there and leave a message like this: "Hello Greg. Sorry I missed you. I am going to be in the area tomorrow and planned on stopping by to see you. If this is a problem, call me. Otherwise I will assume it is ok and stop in." They are using the system (the answering machine in this case) To gain access to the plant. Then when they get to the gate, they tell the guard that I invited them in because I didn't uninvite them.

Many times, I just don't have the time at work to call them back, or I forget because I am busy, Last week this exact thing happened. There was a message on my answering machine on Tuesday morning. The salesman had called at 6 pm on Monday. Come on! Everyone knows I don't love my job that much. :) I called him back though (during normal working hours) and got his cell phone and left him this message: "Hey Bob. Sorry I missed you. I thought you knew what my working hours were. I am busy today so don't come in." Of course he didn't get the message or so he says so he stopped in anyway. When he got there I just said: Sorry I can't see you today. Didn't you get my message?" I hate being rude but these salesmen are getting pretty crafty these days and you have to take control of the situation or get walked on. I have more important things to do than listen to how great their newest product is.

This same thing is happening all around us too. People just do things and if no one says anything they assume it is ok. Since most people don't want to cause a scene, they go unchecked. Politicians are famous for this and may have started the concept. They simply do what they want or what the special interest groups want them to do. Since it is almost impossible to get in contact with them they never hear any arguments So we all agree with what they are doing. Or so they say.

Last year I was upset with an issue so I did some research into what bills were being discussed by our local politicians. I just knew our politicians must be pretty busy with all the serious issues such as crime, war and the budget being out there. I stumbled upon a web page that described a days activities. That particular morning, the "serious" issue being discussed was "Should putting a weave into someone's hair be considered cosmetology?" I didn't know weather to laugh or cry. At first I thought it was a joke but I verified it and yes it was true. With all that is going on in the world, why waist your time on something like that? But then we didn't say we disapproved so it must have been ok with us.

Lately, I have begun to get more proactive in changing the world around me. No longer am I going to keep my mouth shut. For years, I kept my light under a bushel so to speak and let the things going on around me that bothered me go unchecked. I left it up to people to "do the right thing" By the way, that is one of our corporate values although only certain people are held to it. (that's a whole separate issue I will discuss one day)

I am no longer going to sit quietly when I see something bad (or good for that matter) happening. I want people to know where I stand. I have already been questioned about this new attitude and I simply state that I don't expect you to do anything about it but now you know how I feel. Now don't expect any horn honking or middle finger pointing from me if I don't like what you are doing or saying. I will simply, rationally and positively tell you. I respect your opinion, but don't agree with you. No means No and Yes means Yes and saying nothing, means I am thinking about it and trying to come up with a better solution. I believe in not pointing out a problem unless you have a solution in mind.

I am also doing a much better job staying positive and happy. Each morning I start my day with a smile on my face and most days I am able to keep it there. I enter our morning meeting with a smile on my face and someone almost always asks: "Why are you so darn happy?" I just say, I am happy to be alive and to have this great job. The room usually fills with silence at this point or someone will reply with a smart remark about how much they hate their job. I then tell them well no one is forcing you to work here. End of discussion. I love it when me being happy bothers people. I wonder why that is. Why does being happy or talking about God bother people so much? I like it.

Matthew 5:16 : In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Have a wonderful weekend,


Suz said...

great post, Greg! I think you are onto something here. take care!

Kathy said...

I've noticed that attitude myself. I ordered a great Christmas cookbook once and the following year, I received notice of the one for that year, but it wasn't a notice that I would send back if I wanted the book...oh, no! It was one I was to send back if I didn't want the book...tricky...and I'm sure they caught a lot of people not looking and too lazy to send the book back once they had received it. Good post, as usual, Greg. Have a great weekend.

Kati said...

I smile a lot at work. I try to smile all the time, but that simply isn't possible. At the check-out desk, though, I smile as much as I simply can because I know that a smile can be spread so simply, and is so much more fun to spread than a frown. I get a lot of people tell me how happy they are to see me smiling. Some folks asking why I'm always smiling. I tell them it's better than frowning, and that even though some days are tough, I make the choice whether I smile or frown (except when I shut my hand in a drawer, then all bets are off), and I choose to smile. In the long run, smile lines are much nicer than frown lines. The act of smiling seems to affect how I see folks, as well, as compared to some of my coworkers who find a lot of our patrons annoying (or worse). I don't know if it's my mood affecting the patron's mood, or my mood affecting my view. Either way, I like it!!! *grin*

Keep on smiling, Greg! And best of luck in your endeavor to better the world by being proactive instead of reactive!

Wanda said...

Great post again. You know there is another verse in the Bible that says...Let you Yes be Yes, and your No be No. Period!!!
Coming by your post is like sitting around the wood stove in the "General Store"....LOL :)

Kim S in SC said...

Good thought provoking post!

Kerri said...

FANTASTIC Post Greg! Your positive attitude is wonderful!

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