Our office is designed with a contemporary-but-historic concept, all exposed beams and character. And I love it. It’s inspiring, colourful, warm and creative. The downfall is that sometimes we hear things from the other floors, and in my case, it’s who I can only imagine is an aspiring drummer that I have nicknamed “Happy Feet.”
Happy Feet sits above my desk, one floor up, tapping away all day to some unheard mix. I’ve imagined this person to be a thirty-something hipster with noise-cancelling headphones and the coolest tunes around. Every time I get on the elevator I wonder if “that’s him.” This might make a good rom-com movie-script, come to think of it…
That’s great, Cheryl, but what does this have to do with a professional blog?
In life, as in work, there are times that distractions will try to derail you. How you respond will determine if you are successful and moving toward your goals, or if you are about to fall on your head.
I had developed a concussion.
Happy Feet and I were at a standstill. Every time I interviewed – tap-tap-tap-tap-tap. Every time I reference checked – tap-tap-tappity-tap-tap-tap. And every time I tried to write a profile – something that requires immense concentration and an appropriate head-tilt to achieve exactly the proper representation of a candidate – tappity-tap-tap-tap. And he had no clue. I had developed an eye twitch and a list of one-hundred ways to accidentally break his toe…and he was oblivious.
Two weeks into my new job I was headed toward a complete breakdown, until I laughed and told my office-neighbour about Happy Feet. And her response?
“Well, at least he’s happy!”
And I thought….“oh yeah. Why didn’t I think of that?”
My lessons from this experience were twofold:
First off, sometimes it takes someone looking at a problem from a different angle to provide perspective. Realizing that my eye-twitch had developed from someone else’s happy habit was an eye opener. A good team will rally around you to lift you up, and they won’t be afraid to poke holes in your argument when you’re being unreasonable.
According to author Jim Rohn, we are the “average of the five people that we spend the most time with,” and I’m doing alright. I wondered if there was a way that I could channel that great energy from upstairs into making myself better, and now that tapping is something that gives me energy and joy. Happy feet is my “number six.”
Secondly, internalizing other people’s unintended annoyances as my own issue is dumb. There will always be bad bosses, someone who eats too loudly, or the person that whistles while they work. People aren’t programmed to consider my feelings when navigating their day and I shouldn’t expect them to. Happy Feet is rocking out and getting things done…who am I to dull his shine? Realizing that I’d made a mountain out of a mole-hill made me wonder where else I was creating problems that didn’t really exist. Did grocery shopping and driving in traffic really have to be an ordeal or do I make it that way?
Who knew that an antsy hipster with headphones would teach me one of the most relevant lessons in self awareness that I’ve had in the last few years?
I exist in the reality that I create.
Cheryl Krestanowich is a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Acuity HR Solutions where she executes on client’s staffing needs by matching them with suitable candidates. For more information about Acuity HR’s current job postings, visit https://acuityhr.ca/for-candidates/