Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I learned some valuable life lessons after I became a nurse. Prior to that I had spent my time with people who were like me, people I understood. Then I went to work in a large hospital, a very heterogeneous place. Patients were rarely a problem, but co-workers were. That first year I got my feelings hurt many times. I managed never to cry at work but shed many tears on my drive home. I couldn’t tell you when the light bulb went off in my head. I was taking things personally that were not intended to be. It wasn't about me. “They” had learned a different style of being - of interacting and communicating - from what I had learned and believed to be right. I figured if I was going to succeed at work, I would have to adapt and accept the diverse ways of my co-workers. While I am still me, I changed my way of thinking and challenged myself to understand and get along with everyone. I accepted to the point of being quietly entertained at all the different personalities and backgrounds of the people I have worked with. Sometimes I think I have carried not taking things personally a bit too far, but it has helped me survive and thrive in the workplace.