i’m 45. unless my children turn into Phineas & Ferb and invent a time machine, i’m not going to get any younger. (however, i do bring up relentlessly that they need to cut down on the sports and invent a teleporter. it would make my life so much more fun. dinner at Disney anyone?)
when i entered the workplace after college, over 20 years ago, there was a very clear structure to how things worked. you knew your place as an entry-level invisible, do whatever needs to be done person. and unless you were Michael J. Fox and pulled a corporate takeover, you worked your way up slowly.
you did what you needed to do. you moved up. got paid a little more. then did the next thing you needed to do.
every team had a specific structure to it. there was a leader, and depending on his or her personality, you were given specific times of input.
i remember feeling that tension of wanting to be the person in charge, thinking that i knew better than those who were over me. their ways were antiquated, and i saw the changes that needed to be made.
then i messed up big time on my job. i made an editing error in an interview that made the person look bad and we had to reprint ALL copies of the magazine i was in charge of. ALL. every single issue. and mail them out to subscribers again.
i cried. literally. i felt so awful that i had made such a big mistake and that it affected so many people.
and the boss who i felt was antiquated, who seemed to be holding me back, showed me an incredible amount of graciousness. so much so that i learned from the situation instead of being devastated by it.
and no longer did i see her as someone in my way, but i began to see her as someone who was protecting me, covering me. someone i could learn from. someone who could actually help me become better at what i loved to do.
i learned many lessons from her over the years, and i am the editor/writer i am today because of her guidance—and her red pen.
but it all had to start with learning grace.
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image courtesy of flickr.com/creative commons. by griffithchris