I recently received a note from an individual following up on a request they had submitted to my office about a month ago. The status of their request was still noted as “not reviewed”, meaning the individual in charge of that area had not reviewed their request to move through the process. As I responded to the individual, apologizing and ensuring them I would follow-up with the appropriate individuals for them, I decided to check and see how many people had that status in our system. To my dismay there were over 5500 requests dating all the way back to 2007 (please note we receive about 35,000 requests per year).
Needless to say it made me angry. I love my co-workers, but I wanted to berate them for being so careless that they didn’t even look at someone’s request for four years. We talk in our team meetings about how great of service we want to provide and how frustrated we get when a department doesn’t respond to us, but we didn’t return the same respect to our own customers. As I thought about it I went over the excuses that would come up in discussing it and it always comes down to one excuse; “I don’t have time”.
That’s a very valid excuse. Most of the time there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything we’d like to. You do the best you can with the time you have. After all we have families, friends, churches, and sleep we have to fit into our hectic work schedules as well. But more importantly, when there is a constant flow of the same thing it no longer takes on the importance of other “out of the ordinary” things.
At what point do we become too busy to put care about what we’re doing?
At what point do we see the world news about people starving dying and it doesn’t break our heart because we’re too worn out ourselves?
Can we really call ourselves human beings at that point?
So many times in our life we get to a point where we feel overwhelmed by all that we’ve placed in our life. We quickly run back and forth from responsibility to responsibility trying to keep things going like a plate spinner. You only pay attention to the plate that’s starting to lose momentum. Your spouse complains you don’t spend enough time with them so you go out on a date, but while you’re on your date your phone rings from your boss about the report that’s due so you go into the office extra early the next day without having breakfast with your kids. It’s a vicious cycle and eventually you’re so caught up in just keeping up that you have no heart for any of it anymore. It’s a workaholic boss, nagging spouse, whiney kids, needy church…
Is there a solution? Or have we become a society that doesn’t allow people to say “no” anymore. How can you once again care about what you do; not just do it? There will always be pieces of our life that we don’t like doing, but don’t let yourself get carried away focusing on them.