The Story of Your Life

When the customer service gal on the other end of the line started giving me attitude I could hardly believe it.

After all, we’d made the proper claim for our dishwasher. We even allowed the service repairman to take three days to complete the job (although his extended periods on the phone with his boss did make us question his ability). The first night he arrived at 6:00 pm and stayed until 9:15, with the job unfinished and my dishwasher left in pieces on our kitchen floor. The next night he stayed until 10 pm because “I have other repairs I need to do during the day”.

Do you know how weird it is to have a strange man in your kitchen at 10 o’clock at night?  It’s weird.  I’m talking weird, weird. Why our job didn’t make the daytime schedule remains a mystery.

So imagine my surprise when I called to check on missing parts yet to be fixed, that the woman on the other end of the line told me our parts weren’t covered under warranty. “And”, she continued, “we don’t even service your type of dishwasher”.  Excuse me?  Then why did one of your repairmen service our dishwasher for three whole days?

Clearly, she just wanted me and my difficult dishwasher to go away.

Because sometimes it seems easier to make a problem go away than to make a problem right. 

I hung up the phone baffled how any business like this could stay afloat.

I must admit part of me gets it.  It’s easy to start a project with enthusiasm. But what happens when the task gets difficult or takes longer than expected or starts to become a giant drag?  The fact is, too many of us fail to see our commitments through to the end.

Because in the short run, it’s just plain easier to make life easy for me than to make things right for you. Easier, yes.  Wiser, no. A thousand times, no.

I’ve told this story to at least four people this week. Because that’s what we women do:  we repeat stories that happen to us, good or bad.

So what’s the story others tell about you?  What’s the story they tell about me? Work ethic isn’t something we talk much about in the Christian community. But we should.

Because here’s the deal:  how you do your work affects me. And how I do my work affects you. And how we both do our work affects how people view Jesus.

No matter what that “work” is.

When you pause to think about it, most of life is work.  Yes, ‘work” is work. But parenting is work. Marriage is work. Living a healthy life-style is work. That’s not to say these things are a drag.  In fact, when we see our work as something that blesses others we find that the benefit of a job well done spills out on us, too.

I found this interesting true story on Forbes.com:

“Do you know who’s legally responsible if a common carrier leaves your Nordstrom delivery in the rain and your $200 shoes are ruined? Well, the responsibly party might be you or it might be the trucking company, but it’s absolutely not Nordstrom.  Yet, when this happened to me, not for an instant did my salesperson consider saying “You need to file a claim with the trucking company.”  She instead told me, without hesitation, the following:

‘I’m so incredibly sorry that happened, and I’m bringing over a brand new pair of shoes–will you be home in forty-five minutes?’”

This story didn’t just get repeated four, five or six times; this story got repeated in a national publication.  Because this story inspires. This story raises the bar. This story is how things should be.

This story is how I should be. It’s how we all should be.

Is it easier to ignore difficult problems?  Or pass the buck? Or make excuses?  Sure.  Temporarily. But wise people–successful people–know that problems never really go away unless they’re made right.

Not in business. Not in marriage.  Not in parenting.  Not in friendships.  Not in life.

Does it take effort to do things right or make things right?  Of course.  That’s why it’s called “work”.

So what about us?  When others look at the jobs we do—no matter what that job is:  mom, businesswoman, student, speaker, hairdresser, accountant, doctor, realtor, butcher, baker or candlestick maker—what story does your life tell?  What story do others repeat?

Because they will, you know.

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