Yesterday at work I had an interesting experience. I was caught in the middle of what was quickly becoming a bit of a mess. I had reached a point of frustration with a problem and it was looking like I was going to have to make a trip to another building to get things straightened out. I didn’t think this trip was completely necessary, what needed to be done could be done by the folks over there I was dealing with, but things were just not going smoothly, there was a communications breakdown occurring. Right about then I got a call from another coworker, who happened to be over in that building, overheard enough to know that something wasn’t going well and asked me what she could do to help. She bridged the communications gap and helped me get things figured out. Truly, she was a lifesaver at that point.
Now, as part of my ongoing efforts to be a better all around person, after work last night I logged in to the company email and jotted off a note to her, expressing in more detail my appreciation of her offer to help. Taking the time to recognize and show my appreciation for people who help me hasn’t always been a strong suit, so I was proud of the fact that I was able to do that.
On the other hand, I also recognized, through her actions, how much room for improvement I still have. Had I overheard what was going on, I can’t honestly say I would have done the same thing. I might very well have thought to myself “glad I’m not involved in that mess” and went about my business. This situation wasn’t part of her job, wasn’t an area of her responsibility and it would have been very easy to walk away from it, but she stepped into it and offered to help any way that she could. There’s something to be said for that.
There’s also something to be said for being able to recognize behavior in other people that we’d like to learn from and model. We’re all different, and we all have our own distinct positive and negative traits, but I don’t think it’d hurt to make more efforts to “be better” by modeling behavior that we respect in others. I’m making a note to remember this incident and try to make myself available to help in whatever way I can, when I can.