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Help - Not Wanted

You must know I want to add my two cents on our economic crisis. Been wanting to add it since something like 1990, around the time when I was attending a mandatory division meeting and mention of this new technology came up, promising to reduce costs. Soon as I heard the words 'reduce costs' I thought, "Ut oh, This don't sound so good."

Now you know, in division meetings of this size no small time employee is supposed to be standing up asking questions. They say there are no dumb questions, and everyone is encouraged to speak up, but no one really means this. Try it and unlike Mikey who eats everything, you might not like it. But me, just like Mikey tried it. I stood up and asked, "Well, what's going to happen to all the jobs that are being replaced by machines?"

Oh my goodness, you had to see the faces fall. Like plop, plop, plop... and oh no she didn't. But the president did answer me. Something to the tune of people will find employment in IT fields, which was why back then it was important to get on an IT career track.

But this isn't exactly where I'm going. Despite the size of the debate my mind was unable to absorb, I totally understood the leadership's position. Fears must be allayed so that everyone goes home and gets a good night sleep. I know I've been sleeping on it, because, and here's where I really want to go, a really good friend and at least one mentor taught me some very practical advice about 'help'.

The first bit of advice, and I mean I chewed on this one heartily and gobbled it all up, was when I was lectured, 'if you point out a problem you better have a solution, because  if you open your mouth you'll be tasked with its resolution!”

Well hello Adversary, meet the old serpent! I quickly honed up my listening skills after that spiel... and after getting slapped with this one too.

I was riding with a really good friend. Giving her a ride home. Had my music going, Bonnie Raitt, Love Sneaking Up on You, just really not in a mood for a whole lot of chit-chat when suddenly I hear this, "my day was like sh--"

Alrighty. Sounded pretty bad, but sometimes bad dispositions aren't so bad when you're looking for something like quiet. Next thing I hear is, "blah blah blah... and then this and that... and whaa whaa whaa...” to which I thought, 'Good Lordy... why why NOW!!!'

And I know. Just because I don't care to pour my troubles on others, doesn't mean others should return the favor. I get it. We're different. Have different needs. But if you're in a crisis, and come to me with the crisis, I get the impression that you're asking for my help. And if you ask for my help, I'm going to lend you a bit advice that more than likely will solve the problem. Just what I did in this instance. 

And O my, what in the world did I open my mouth for!?! Never have I been told my help wasn't wanted and that sometimes people just want to cry. But please don't rush by this bit of steam so quickly, even if on that day I was less than a hair away from mashing down on the brake and telling my good friend to cry running alongside the car so I could enjoy my music.

This steamy rant taught me a very valuable lesson about eternalizing someone else's suffering as my responsibility to share in those tears, always responding on instinct to be available to help and solve problems. It was a surprising awakening at first, but not hard at all closing down the help shop. Sure I'll share my opinions if the comment box is open, and don't turn away friends asking my advice, but have since freed myself of the guilt that just by listening is not help.   


  1. Ahahahhaahha! OMG! Tears! "to cry running alongside the car so I could enjoy my music."

    Thank you RY...I needed this bit of laughter. Right now I am your friend and side-swiped someone today at lunch with my tale of woe as the caregive for my 81 yr old mother.

    Yes, sometimes, we sobbers just want to cry for the release, however, it is only fair that we warn the other party up front.

    OMG! What a visual!

    BTW: I'm on staycation this week so I will get to those questions.

  2. yeah, I think now I'ma start looking for clues to friends who I suspect might jump in my car and start least so that I'm cued up on whether I want to turn on my music or hang my head out the window;-) Kidding, I love my friends...and you can tell me...I'll listen, I've been since tutored;-)

    And take your time. I still have to get your book, which I am getting! Enjoy your staycation.

  3. Thanks for such a fun post. Just like you, I don't like pouring my problems on others, but for some reason that must makes me a strong person and all my friends like to cry on my shoulder. Just like you, I had to learn to listen.

  4. And thank you MuMu. Your recent post was beautiful. My prayers are with you and all those without peace or hope.

  5. Interesting post. I was laughing at the parts where I recognize myself. So, do you think people just know exactly which shoulders will be accommodating? Or, is it that some people just love to unload?

  6. Some people just love to unload, though as in this case, my friend probably knew I wouldn't put her out of the car;-)...thus most know just who to unload on.


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