In just three short days in the office I dealt with a liar and a thief and a couple very smart people without an ounce of ethics in their bones. I was trapped in my office as people went on 30-minute rants about their drives to work, the conditions of the roads and the stupid people who drive them. I suffered a man who seems to desire nothing more than making his girlfriend uncomfortable with his choices, his humor and his selfish desires. I tolerated a woman who finds joy in making her coworkers’ lives miserable by assigning meaningless tasks. I endured another woman who needed action on a project immediately, resulting in hours of work on my part only to find that she meant her 32 emails to go to someone else and their project.
It was a banner week. One for the books. And I can guarantee you’ve had one just like in the past…And will have one just like it in the future. People can get under our skin. Their constant droning can ring in our ears like the 7-year locust on a hot summer day.
However, I’ve discovered a new trick to avoid the annoying buzz they bring: I let them carry out whatever they’ve carried in; not literally, of course, but in my own mind’s eye I see them hauling out the hubris. What I do is this: As they talk, blab, drone, blather and complain, I grab a notepad and I scribble down their story. I record their rant. I compose their confession. I draft their droning. I write their rant.
It’s like taking notes in a meeting…only a lot more fun. I don’t write entire sentences but only jot key words, central themes and great quotes. And when they leave, I throw it away. I simply toss it in the trash. I crumple the complaints. I destroy the diatribe. I shred the sound off. I trash their tirade. When they leave the room, they take their garbage with them and I eliminate the evidence.
I don’t allow them to leave their emotional litter. I pick up their piles of poisoned passion and I sweep away the sour sentiments.
Imagine a day in your life when you are not side-tracked by crazy. Imagine a time when another person’s philippic doesn’t become your own internal struggle. Imagine living life free from other peoples’ problems. This is one way to clear your desk and your mind and get back to the things that matter most.
Try it next week. It just might work as well for you as it does for me!