Comfortably Numb


“Hello, Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home? Come on now, I hear you’re feeling down, I can ease your pain, And get you on your feet again. Relax. I’ll need some information first; Just the basic facts. Can you show me where it hurts?

There is no pain, you are receding. A distant ship smoke on the horizon. You are only coming through in waves.Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying. When I was a child I had a fever. My hands felt just like two balloons. Now I’ve got that feeling once again. I can’t explain, you would not understand. This is not how I am. I have become comfortably numb.”

Comfortably NumbPink Floyd

One of the greatest guitar solos of all time.

Seems as if many of the people we deal with everyday have gone Comfortably Numb!

Today’s blog is about mediocrity and about how we have now been conditioned to accept it . It is everywhere.  All of the technology in the world cannot rid the rapidly growing wave of excuses for failure, lack of preparedness, reliability, lack of accountability, lack of integrity or just overall ineptitude.

Are we all that busy, that distracted, that stressed, that we just can no longer meet or exceed expectations?  Have we forgotten how to manage time?  Or focus on the things that are important?  Are we too busy playing politics or kissing someones derriere that it affects our ability to add value?

Does it have something to do with raising the last couple of generations where everyone got a trophy when playing sports, the rules were for equal time for all players, regardless of skills, where no one kept score?  I do not know if this is a driver but headline for everyone – life is about competing, winning and overcoming obstacles.  Doing your best everyday.  Waking up and making a difference in your life, your job, with your family and friends.

Webman, what is wrong?  Well, let me tell you.  Everyday we are engaged with people who just cannot do their jobs.  Think about it.  Go to a restaurant and find a waiter/waitress that has a clue about what is on the menu.  Does not happen often. Last week I visited the Black Cow in Hamilton, MA.  Have tried the restaurant many times, hopeful of getting a meal that was edible, but that never happened.  They have recently renovated, upgraded their menu and certainly upgraded their staff.  The waitress was informed, knowledgeable, pleasant, happy and courteous.  What a pleasant surprise! 🙂  Why am I so surprised when someone actually does their job?

Think about where you work.  Who is really great at what they do?  Who are you wowed by?  Who do you look up to and admire?  Who’s behavior are you trying to emulate?  Which of your leaders do you look up to?  Who looks up to you?  Are you setting an example for others?  Are you leading, following or just getting out of the way?

How many times do people walk out of a meeting and say they are going to do something, only to never see it done?  How many of your co-workers make commitments that aren’t kept?  How many times do you have to either stop by someone’s office or send multiple e-mails to get a response?  How many people never respond?  How many times have you heard,  “I did not have time to read your e-mail” or “I am too busy.”  What ever happened to the golden rule?  Treating others the way you would like to be treated.  What has gone so wrong with our society that even basic decency and respect are now just disregarded?  How many times have you attended a meeting where no one was prepared, there was no agenda or you did not know why you were even invited?  What a waste of your time.

whambulance

Time is one of our most precious assets, yet people waste our time every day because they are not prepared.  They do not do the work necessary to have a productive, fact based and thoughtful conversation.  Think about how long it takes to make decisions.  Why, because people are not prepared to make them  Or maybe they are just afraid to make them because then they need to take accountability.  Heaven forbid!  Do they think, “I might be held responsible for that decision, so I think it best not to make one.”  Make a decision today.  It will feel great 🙂

Can you imagine how effective and impactful your work day would be if this situation just improved by 20%? So starting today, be prepared.  Stop worrying about things that are out of your control.  Stop the whining.  Stop blaming others.  Do your best regardless of the hurdles.  In the spirit of being honest and transparent, if people are dragging you down, tell them.  Force change.  Take accountability.  Make a decision.  Learn from your mistakes.  Get better everyday.  Make a difference.  Treat people with dignity and respect.

Do it today and everyday. Wow someone today.  Wow yourself.  Raise the bar. Stretch. Grow.

And of course, say hello 🙂

Webman

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3 thoughts on “Comfortably Numb

  1. People are like dogs!

    Ever train a dog to sit, give paw, roll over? You give them a treat when they do what you want. How about training them to not take food off your table, you punish them.

    People who get punished or not rewarded for doing quality work will learn to not care or to care only enough to not get punished.

    When someone demands more of you then you will do more, but when that extra effort gets no reward and even sometimes punished then people are trained to not put in that extra effort.

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  2. I don’t think it’s a new phenomenon. 30 years now I’ve been in the workforce, 15 of which were at IBM and can tell you that a good percentage of my co-workers there were just as comfortably numb then…. Distractions is another story, technology has not helped in this regard.

    For me, I do the best I can, and hope others are as well, usually not the case, but I’m no case worker 🙂

    Plus ça change
    Plus c’est la même chose
    The more that things change
    The more they stay the same

    — RUSH, Hemispheres, Circumstances (1978)

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