Shut Up and Listen

I had an epiphany.  It’s crazy, really, how an epiphany can come to you in many different ways.  Mine came to me this past Sunday in the form of a petite, jovial, middle-aged massage therapist with magic fingers and hands at a day spa.  Before I met her, I read about her first in the lobby while I was waiting.  Flipping through the laminated pages in a white, otherwise non-descript binder; I found the name of my massage therapist.  Right next to her picture and bio was an abbreviated title.  I had to do a double-take.  She was a chiropractic doctor!  I sat there scratching my head and thinking what on Earth would possess a doctor to work as a massage therapist in a day spa, when she could be out changing the world being a doctor. 

I was intrigued, so I did what I normally do when I’m curious about something; I “Googled” up some information.  In two seconds flat, I learned about the cost of becoming a D.C. or Doctor of Chiropractic.  Apparently, if you complete 25 hours each quarter, you should finish after 14 quarters. If you borrow the maximum amount for each of those quarters, your total borrowing will be $164,472!   Here I was, in a membership day spa, where the average cost of a massage is just $49, but the therapist starts out just making $15 an hour.   This doctor, I surmised, was in a professional battle, spiraling downward.

I had no other choice but to disrobe completely in my room, put on my sleuthing hat, and try and figure out this woman’s seemingly professional and ill-fated demise.  Lying face down on the table, The Doctor tapped lightly on my door and casually entered.  She quietly asked me about areas that I would like her to focus on and then quickly assessed my needs. 

Five minutes into our introduction, there it was.   I had already heard The Doctor’s entire life story as her voice continued to rise an octave beyond my comfort zone.  Her incessant chatter and laughter filled up the little room with a constant assault against my senses and total well-being.  She barely stopped to breathe or pause for even a second as I heard all about her failed private chiropractic practice, her seven siblings, how she bounced from job to job, and her desire to be paid tips under the table.  I was lying there, conflicted by both her verbal onslaught and her expert touch and knowledge of the body.  Yet, I was receiving the most incredible massage I had ever received, one that could only be delivered by a doctor who was educated four plus years about human anatomy. 

So, here’s the epiphany.  As an employer; I need to remember that it is my job to make sure that the people who work for me know and understand their weaknesses, just as much as they know and understand their strengths.  It’s my job to ensure that my employees are more marketable, when and if, they ever leave my company for another job.  Otherwise, if they don’t cut it here; I’m just throwing them back out to the wolves to repeat their past mistakes.

So many people get frustrated when they get passed up for a position that they felt they deserved, but rarely does the employer take the time to tell them why. I think it’s important for people to have a chance to correct their own behavior.  Maybe they just needed someone to be honest with them in the first place.  (If not their employer, maybe just a good friend.)  There are too many people out there, like The Doctor, who take their bad habits with them wherever they go and would probably change if someone took the time to point out the obvious.  In this case, it was The Doctor’s horrendous bedside manner that was more than likely inhibiting her personal success.

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