In the last few weeks, I've been put in a new situation at work - one that I never really expected to have: I'm training new recruits. I'll be honest, my patience has been tested. If you're one of them and you're reading this, don't take it personally - keep reading! Poor Peter has gotten an earful more than once, and has listened patiently while I have tried to explain my methods of instruction in an effort to figure out if it's me, or them.
But... as I have been working through this process of learning how to train and teach people to do things that are now second nature to me, I have come face to face with my own inadequacies. I have been reminded (sometimes, gently, by current co-workers) that I was once new and asking a lot of (the same!) questions. Reminded, in fact, that I still ask a lot of questions. Realizing that perhaps the reason why I should keep my frustration in check is because not everyone learns the same way I do.
Let me tell you, I'm 100% sure that the Lord made the right decision when He led me away from a teaching career back in college! But I'm also learning a lot about myself. I've even found the challenge of thinking through different ways to explain, teach, and help them succeed - enjoyable! While instruction is not something that excites me, it's another useful experiene that I'm adding to my life toolbox. What I learn now, what I take away from today, may come in very handy when I least expect it.
Back when I worked at the pharmacy, the staff - as kind as they were and are (we're still friends) - would become incredibly frustrated with me because I couldn't remember how to do things that were second nature to them. They were frustrated when I didn't know how to use the phone system (I was terrified of hanging up on someone), rolled their eyes when I pulled out my notebook full of hand-written cheats so I could remember the morning routine, and gawked when I would ask, AGAIN, how to add an insurance card into the system.
During those 15 months, I felt discouraged by my own lack of memory and seeming inability to grasp the most "simple" concepts. Although my loving husband told me it was because I was in a job that didn't fit with my skills (true!), and even though I held a Bachelor of Science degree, I felt stupid, on a daily basis. And that, my friends, is a horrible feeling.
While my time at the pharmacy ended amicably enough, when I left, I was completely unsure of my own competency. And then a woman I didn't know, took a chance and hired me. Trained me. Taught me what she knew and helped me gain confidence in my own skills. Her faith and confidence in me was a gift - a gift that I want to pass on to others, even when I find myself growing frustrated in the process.
Here's to another day of learning and growth - for all of us.
What have YOU learned recently?