Honest Priorities; It’s A Small Town

Katie Young
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Wednesday - May 31, 2006
| Del.icio.us

Where your priorities stand.

Andrew thought he had a pretty good handle on his priorities. Well, he admitted he had never really thought about it too much, but he was fairly certain he knew what they were:

1) Family and romantic relationships

2) Career 3) Friends 4) Surfing (and other activities) Andrew stated that No. 1 and No. 2 could be flip-flopped when big projects surfaced at work.

Well, you can imagine Andrew’s dismay when his girlfriend, Carrie, yelled in a heated argument, “Your priorities are all wrong!!”

“What are you talking about?!” Andrew retorted.

Andrew proceeded to list his priorities as stated above. Carrie stood there listening to him, hands on her hips. Then she rolled her eyes and sighed, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

She explained that what he said his priorities were did not match up with his day-to-day actions.

“You say I’m your top priority, yet you constantly cancel plans with me at the last minute to stay at work,” Carrie said. “On the weekends, you’ll only spend a couple of hours with me because you’d rather go surfing all day, and whenever your friends call, you’ll ditch me to go play poker with them instead.”

Andrew started to argue back, but then he realized that Carrie was right. He did do those things - on occasion only, he thought - but he really believed that his original assessment of his priorities was still truly what he felt in his heart.

A frustrated Carrie told him, “Andrew, you can claim to feel one way, but words mean nothing without actions to back them.”

Carrie repeated something her boss once told her, which she thought applied in this particular situation, “Your priorities will always be where your feet are,” she said. “Literally.”

That’s all there is to it.

Be careful what you say. Oh, it was the worst possible thing to happen - something to be made fun of on a TV sitcom like Seinfeld.

One sunny weekend afternoon, Camille was having lunch with some girlfriends at a local restaurant. They were all laughing and talking and catching up. They talked about Leila’s boy troubles, Christi’s upcoming house move and, of course, work.

As girls do, the ladies took turns discussing goings-on at the office - from the funny to the frustrating.

Camille began complaining about one of her co-workers. She was going on about how Sheila was such a kiss-up to the boss and how she always listening in on conversations and how she had a hunch Sheila was trying to sabotage Camille’s upcoming promotion. “I can’t stand her!!!” Camille moaned. “She’s just so fake and so conniving!”

So the lunch continued but when the girls got up to leave, Camille was met with a horrible sight: Her co-worker Sheila was sitting at the very next table, eating lunch with her parents.

“Oh, no!!!” Camille thought to herself, while trying to paste a forced smile across her lips. “Oh my ... what if she heard me. Oh my gosh, I bet she heard me!”

Sheila didn’t look up at Camille and so she hurried out of the restaurant.

Camille fretted all weekend about whether or not Sheila was on to her. Even though she didn’t like the woman, she didn’t want her to know it, fearing it would make the work environment unpleasant.

For most of the work day on Monday, Sheila didn’t say anything, so Camille thought she might be home free, until she got an inter-office e-mail sent to every employee in her department from Sheila that said, “Just a friendly reminder about office etiquette: Be careful what you say because you never know who’s listening. Yes, Camille, I heard you say all those nasty things about me and I’m very hurt.”

Now Camille looked like a spiteful person and Sheila was the innocent victim. And everyone in the office thought the same.

Camille vowed to never again saying anything disparaging about anyone ever again ... out loud.

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