News Features Mentor's Corner Mentoring November

CalvaryMentorMy wife and I used to have an old Corsica. After several years of driving abuse, it began to show signs of wear. I was beginning to have to repair one thing or the other on that dumb car. One time the radiator got a leak so I had to fix that, the alternator went out, the alignment went out, the horn quit working, the door stopped opening...every little thing started to break on it. Finally, I told Ceresa that if I was going to have to spend money and work on something all the time, it might as well be something I liked. I began to scour the newspaper and internet for a new vehicle. We decided that we should either get an old Bronco or a Jeep. After weeks of searching, I found a pristine 1983 Jeep CJ-7. I went to look at it and it was an awesome vehicle. It had a 4" lift kit, 33 inch tires, soft top, half doors...it was everything I wanted. Finally, after much persuading and a test drive, I put the money together and got it. I noticed when I test drove it that it hesitated a lot, but the owner said that it was just cold natured. I also noticed that the steering was extremely sensitive. Well, I drove it for a while, and it still hesitated. In fact, I drove it for a couple of weeks and it was still messing up. I took it to a mechanic and they couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. After some research, I found out that the distributor was in wrong. I fixed it and went on. I added some bracing to fix the steering. I put in another brake master cylinder. What was going on? I thought I had bought a turn key jeep! Finally, after much ridicule and busted knuckles, I had it fixed. One day, we were driving down the interstate. I patted it on the dash and told Ceresa that "she (the jeep)" was going to be OK. About that time, we heard a loud thud and I look out her door and the drive shaft was bouncing down the road. See, I had bought something that looked great, but on the inside it wasn't a jeep, it was a heap.

Living in our society, it is easy to pretend everything is OK. People regularly put on their fake smile and their canned greetings and struggle through another day. We encounter people everyday who "look" fine, but are not fine at all. We all probably know from experience because some of the time, it is us who is faking it through another day.

This is something we all know, but what are we to do about it? Why should we do anything about it? First, happy people make for a better and more productive work environment. If someone feels good, they will be more efficient because their attention is not divided. The "proof is in the pudding," as they say. The Warwick economists research group did a study in which they found, Happier workers were 12% more productive while unhappier workers were 10% less productive.

As far as what we can do about it, I think the answer lies in simply showing others that you genuinely care about them. Take a little time to find out how others around you are doing. If they are doing a good job, let them know. Do what you can to promote well-being in those around you. Don't just assume that everything is fine with those working around you, a personal greeting and genuine interest will go a long way. Not only will this make for a more productive work environment, it will make a difference in the lives of those around you.

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