What is your favorite thing to do besides reading the latest issue of Garden Spices magazine?
Is it watching movies or serial programming on a streaming platform? Enjoying street tacos at your favorite food truck or your favorite coffee or tea beverage at your favorite coffee or tea shop? These days, as we strain to see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, getting together with family and friends we haven’t seen in 18 months is a cautious joy.
Just what does it take to make our favorite thing available to us? How many of us think about all the things that have to happen for us to enjoy our favorite things? Almost none.
How do I know that? The cacophony and even panic exploded when an ingredient or product was unavailable, or a service was interrupted. There are tons of examples of this, but my favorite is the saga of a popular iced tea beverage.
The peach syrup used by a certain coffee shop chain to make a popular iced tea drink was suddenly and inexplicably unavailable. No one asked why. After visiting several locations, folks got angry and declared they were never returning to the popular coffee chain again. “How dare they be out of peach syrup. I come in here every day to treat myself and chill with my favorite iced tea with a name too long to remember.” The story made headlines – a little extreme over some iced tea. (I made my own and enjoyed it even more because it didn’t cost me $5 bucks. The box of peach tea bags didn’t cost $5 bucks; I added fruit, peaches in fact, and a dash of organic lemonade and made pitchers of the stuff.
But I digress)
The point being, to have peach syrup to make the favorite iced tea beverage, peaches had to be grown, harvested, processed, and after adding pounds of sugar and who knows how many gallons of water, bottled (with labels), shipped, delivered, and stored waiting for you to come in an order said beverage, well…
To produce one 20-ounce cup of this favorite beverage takes an incredible amount of time, effort, and creativity, otherwise known as work. That’s right; The shortcode for time and energy expended to produce a product or result is work. However, unless we are involved in making a thing, we seldom understand or even care about what has to happen in advance of our using or enjoying it.
This brings me to my next point.
Honor the work of others, especially if it’s work you can’t or don’t want to do.
During my tenure as an advertising executive, I had the experience of visiting a chicken processing plant. There is nothing about visiting a chicken processing plant that is pleasant. Nothing! The smell is horrific and memorable. Yet people were diligently working, observing health and safety protocols, and earning minimum wage at best. Most, if not all, of the line workers, were immigrants. There were no lines of people outside begging for jobs. (Every time I hear the vitriol about immigrants taking jobs, I think about that plant and so many others like it and wonder what are they talking about. The jobs immigrants are performing are the jobs that nobody wants, not even the people who own the companies.)
While writing this piece, there is a major story about the critical shortage of nurses and the peril that this shortage poses for everyone. There is a vital shortage because nursing professionals at all levels are highly undervalued and underappreciated while simultaneously being stretched beyond capacity. Not sure where that formula works out favorably for anyone. The second most common situation I coach clients around is feeling undervalued and not being heard. This situation is a by-product of their work – their life- not being valued or honored.
So, the next time there is disruption of your enjoyment of your favorite thing, take a few seconds to think beyond your inconvenience and then use that great imagination of yours to figure out something else to do. It’s not hard. It just requires a little work.
Until next time,
Copyright 2021 ©Camp Goldston Publishing, All rights reserved.
Deborah is an ICF accredited coach working primarily with professional women of color to help them better manage their personal and professional brands to achieve their next levels of success. She is also the author of three books.