As I walked into my daughter’s school with only one shoe on, I ran into a friend of mine and, giggling, told her what had happened to my flip flop. “Oh well, time to buy new shoes,” she said.JR, the custodian of the school, overheard our conversation and asked, “Do you want me to get it out for you?”“You can?” I asked, incredulously.“Of course I can,” he said, “I’m JR”
And then, he proceeded to make a hook out of a wire hanger and, before I even finished dropping my daughter off in her classroom, presented me with my missing shoe.
Now, did JR do anything that I couldn’t have done? No. Did he use technical skills that I don’t possess? No. Frankly, I could have taken a hanger and done the same thing. But it never occurred to me. Instead, I immediately started to rearrange my morning to allow for a stop at the store to buy new flip flops.
But JR knew that if there was a problem then he could fix it. It’s part of his self-identity, at least in the realm of this type of problems.
So, what is it about some people? Why do some of us feel that we can solve anything that comes our way – and then proceed to – while others give up?
I have this attitude professionally. I often accept gigs that I’m not qualified for and trust that I’ll figure it out when the time comes. And, for the most part, I always do. But I don’t have this attitude in every arena of my life.
So, the question I’m mulling over today is: How do I become more like JR, more of the time? Next time there’s a seemingly intractable problem, I want to be able to say, “Of course I have a solution. I’m Julie.”