It’s 3:00 on a 98 degree Friday afternoon. With five service calls complete you know that, back at the office, Liz has more calls than you can handle. And you know she’s doing everything in her power not to tell you. As pressure builds on Liz, it makes its way downstream to you. Two of call number six’s four condensers are down.
Within a nanosecond you feel Mrs. Jones sending pressure downstream to you as well. Her daughter is getting married tomorrow and the service and reception are being held at the house.
The heat intensifies with Mrs. Jones's situation and no end of the day in sight. The pressure creeps into your neck and shoulders and begins to squeeze. You feel a headache coming on.
John Lennon sings in your ear, “Whatever gets you through your life….whatever gets you to the light.”
Being the veteran that you are, you step away from condenser number one and take a breath.
You got into this trade because you love the symphony between your mind and hands. Most of the time the music that you make is soothing and relaxing. So you focus on the melody, replace the contactor, clean up the wiring, recheck the unit and take care of condenser number two.
An hour later and both units are online. You feel good about the music that you made. But you’re about to feel a whole lot better.
Mrs. Jones responds to your message about the call with a flood of tears and relief. Her outpouring of emotion hits you in the gut and makes your knees weak. Fighting off the tears yourself you speed up the transaction and scurry for the sanctuary of your van.
Reflecting for a moment you think about the heat, about the pressure to handle more calls and about the inevitable long day. You also think about the day’s accomplishments. Diagnosing problems; repairing systems and satisfying customers. And then Mrs. Jones’s call - it was like taking your music and playing it through a mountain-sized amplifier!
What is it really about your job that keeps you going? What gets you to the light?
Is it the symphony between your mind and hands? Is it in hopes of making the day of more Mrs. Jones’s? Is it providing for your family? Is it the money and bennies?
Maybe, as pressure moves downstream, it’s about orchestrating your skill, talent, desires and values towards a successful service call. Your hands and mind are engaged; your customer is satisfied and sometimes elated; your company benefits; your family benefits and the meaning you find in it all makes you feel good.
George Bernard Shaw said,
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
But you’re not a tech, you’re a business owner.
As a business owner, do you know what gets your coworkers through their workday? What gets them to the light? What is it that they really care about?
Take hold of the splendid torch and choose to illuminate; choose to know. And once you know choose to facilitate. For once you do, it will be your light that is burning bright.