Shoe on the Other Foot

Years ago, I was the music buyer at Baker Book House. I was responsible for making sure that we had the right mix and quantity of music and videos for the store to sell. I was also the store’s trainer. It was a good fit. Traffic in music was slower than the customer service desk (where the previous store trainer trained people), so I was able to actually train new employees how to do the basics without being interrupted all the time. I don’t want to brag, but I think I was a pretty good trainer.

Well, I was a good trainer to the people who listened when I was training them.

A while back, I wrote about Erin Farias and how I struggled with liking her as a fellow employee. That started just about as soon as she was hired, since I was the person responsible for teaching her how to do her job well. When other trainees would pay attention and seek to impress me with their work ethic, Erin was in Erin-land. She would welcome guests who came into the department, have long conversations with them, make friends with her other co-workers, and do everything but pay attention when I am training her how to alphabetize and categorize and whatever-else-erize.

There was one day when I came home from work, frustrated because I had asked Erin to shelve a cart of music while I took lunch. When I got back from lunch, she had shelved maybe three CDs out of the hundred or so on the cart.

“She’s so slow!” I complained to my wife. “It took her half an hour to do something that should have taken five minutes! I don’t know what she was doing!”

“You need to have patience with her,” said my wife. “She’s probably gifted in ways that you aren’t, just like you are gifted in shelving CDs quickly.”

Fast forward to a few days ago.

I had the day off because I am working this Saturday at Rock the Coast, helping with a book table at the concert. I got to spend the whole day with my girls (sans my wife who was working, per her usual schedule). My day was pretty wide open as far as what I could do. I just needed to watch the girls, change diapers and feed them as needed, write a blog post, make the family some dinner, and sweep the floors. Easy as cake.

Well, I took full advantage of my time with my daughters. We played. We went for a walk with the double stroller. My oldest got to play in her outdoor playhouse while I fed the youngest a bottle. A great time was had by all. I fed and changed, blogged and made dinner. But with all the time I had, I didn’t find time to sweep the floors.

Last night, I had a meeting at church and DeAnne watched the girls by herself. I was gone for just over an hour. In that time, my wife made dinner, made lunches for the following day, started laundry, packed the girls’ bag for daycare the next day, fed and changed the girls, and took the dog out once or twice. I was amazed by the amount of stuff she was able to do in one hour while I was unable to do the same amount in eight hours.

And then she reminded me about the time I complained about Erin shelving three CDs.

I had no right to judge. Live and learn.

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2 responses to “Shoe on the Other Foot

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