I love to ask people about their worst jobs ever. I hear stories about being locked in a walk-in refrigerator at a fast food restaurant, being verbally abused by the boss, and enduring co-worker sabotage. I have my own, of course. One coworker gave me the silent treatment for about a month before I realized what was going on. We were very close. And my husband is a coach, so I have plenty of stories to share from his job as well, but those would take too long. And he's still a coach, so it's too dangerous to share them. During one particularly draining time at work, I started calling my co-workers vampires because I felt like they sucked the life out of me. So in thinking through all the events that made me hit the snooze 12 times before work every day, I began to think about my own behavior. I didn’t want to be a vampire, but what was I doing to make sure that didn’t happen? Was I putting energy into anyone’s day, or just cruising through my own day trying to avoid the vampires? So I committed to being intentional about sincerely putting energy into someone’s day. I couldn’t accept the possibility that I was neutral, and refused to accidentally be a vampire.
I have two good friends, both attorneys, who happen to be married to each other. We were all working together with a family who needed some help, and I wrote the email below to put a little energy into their day:
To: Amanda’s attorney friends From: Amanda Subject: Just wanted to tell you
how much I appreciate you both. That’s it. I was thinking it, so I figured I should tell you.
This email was fewer than 25 words, took me 20 seconds, and was hardly some grand effort of appreciation. Below was the return email:
Thanks, Amanda, I was talking with my mom and my wife the other day about something and your name came up and I remarked how you have one of the most beautiful hearts of anyone I've met. The way you care about people is truly special.
This brought tears to my eyes. My investment was pretty embarrassing compared to my return. Because I was going through a difficult time, this email made my month, not just my day. And I especially loved it because all I was trying to do was put a little energy into someone’s day. I was simply blown away at what God did with my ridiculously tiny, but sincere effort.
In my experience, people are all a bit fatigued by the vampires and hungry for some sincere gesture of appreciation. And for the billionth time, we see how God heals our wounds by focusing on others.