Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Observations continue....

Hi folks, just wanted to sort of continue with my last post, I didn't really say everything I wanted with it.

I've seen a pattern in the way people act, it's nothing new, but it's interesting I think to observe. Everyone knows it, everyone does it, but we try not to admit it.

We're selfish.

Granted, it's part of our survival instincts, to take care of our own interests, our basic needs. Food, shelter, sleep, stuff that's required to "survive". We cling to the things that we feel we "need", and fight tooth and nail to acquire and hold on to them. We go to work, make money, then go shopping for these things, clothes, cars, homes, and all the things that make daily life possible. Then we go about managing and organizing our lives, with our spouses or loved ones. We take care of our own, our families, the people who we are more or less responsible to make sure remain comfortably fed, clothed, and sheltered.

But this selfishness also carries over into other aspects of our lives. The things we do for fun, our "down" time. We all do what we "want" to do, as we as humans also have a need to be entertained, to fulfill our desires for things that make us feel good, whether they are "needed" or not. So our days are filled with working, eating, cleaning, driving, and being entertained, and if we're lucky, sleeping, to get up the next day and do it all over again.

What's wrong with that? Nothing I guess, I do all those things too. That's just human nature, it's what we do.

The problem I think is that most of us do so much worrying about our own lives that we don't take the time to see that there are others who might need us. They are living their lives, being just as selfish as we are, taking care of their own. But the thing we humans do in the acquisition of stuff, and entertaining ourselves, is we find we need others to help us do it. We find there are things we can't do alone, we find we want companions, someone to share our stuff with, because we are social creatures. The fact is, without each other, we couldn't survive, no one person can do it COMPLETELY by themselves. We MUST interact, on some level, with others, in order to get and do the things we need and want.

In a lot of these interactions, it seems we continue to be selfish, and take only what we want, be what we need to be, say what we need to say, only enough to fulfill whatever need WE have, and then go on with our lives.

All of us have done it. We only talk to someone because they have something we want. We interact a person or friend, but only because they fulfill some desire or need we have at that moment, and when that need is satisfied, we no longer interact with that friend. That's a part of our daily lives. Find and get what we need, then go on with OUR lives. But what about if that person or friend needs us? Do we stop what we're doing and help? Do we forget our own troubles for a minute and go help out? Probably not as often as we should.

That my friends is my problem. People just don't take the time to be a true friend and help out. Sure it takes time, and sometimes it may take a considerable amount of your own resources, but often all someone needs is for someone to BE there. Being social creatures, we like to have others to talk to, to interact with. All it takes sometimes is a "Hi, how are you?" and a smile to make someone's day. How long does that take? Something that simple can let someone know that there is someone who cares, someone interested in their day. Communication is important.

Something else that's important is the role we play, recognizing the need, and filling it. Sometimes too much interaction is just as bad as not enough. Smothering a person in love and attention can often cause it to be thrown back in one's face, trust me, I've seen that one a bunch of times. Or worse yet, you're that person who does nothing but drain a person of their time and resources to fill your own needs and desires giving nothing in return. But if you're truly trying to be friends with someone, it's important to know what role you play in that person's life, and be there to fulfill it. Friends understand that there are problems, legitimate ones, that you DO have to pay attention to, that will cause you to concentrate on yourself, but there is still the need to pay attention to communication, and do your best to be there when needed.

It doesn't take much. Sure there are times when you might have to put yourself out, go above and beyond, but in my opinion, there are many MORE times when all someone wants is for someone to be there for them, no matter what happens. To let them know there is a solid foundation for them, someone who is always there, who cares, and it doesn't take anything more than just BEING there. Just hanging out. It's that simple.

Are you that kind of person? Maybe if more people were, the world would be a better place for all of us.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Hello blogland, nice to see you again. I've had a lot of things on my mind since I was here last, my observations with my interactions with my coworkers have gotten me to thinking about the human condition, the way people deal with daily life, and how it makes them interact. It's fun to just sit back and watch, and I talk with them, in my rounds sweeping and buffing the floor, it's neat to see the different personalities and how they see their job, their lives, and how they interact with the people around them, although it's not always pleasant

Many of my coworkers have been working there for many years, and have developed a severe dislike for their jobs, but still they have built lasting friendships with the other people that they work with, sometimes even with people that no longer work there, but that they still see when they come in to shop. Some have only been there only a few months, and find that they just don't get along with some people, or that don't even make the attempt, a concept somewhat alien to me, as I am one to try to get along with everybody. Being friends with my coworkers is important to me, it makes it a better place to work, makes the time pass more quickly, and makes the job seem fun in a lot of ways.

I've made the acquaintance of people that come from many walks of life, of different levels of knowledge on a wide range of topics, people with many varied interests and hobbies. They are also a diverse group, some young, some older, and I've found it interesting to see how each treats people, whether they are friendly, or just sociable, in other words, they only interact on a social level, saying hi, how are you, stuff like that. Others are more apt to want to talk to people about their problems, their personal lives, and things that are bothering them or what they are happy about.

Those that I've made friends with have become an integral part of my day, I go out of my way to talk to them as I make my rounds, to find out how their day is going, and I notice often that they talk about other people, and how they feel about them, or how they feel about how someone has treated them, and unfortunately it's not always nice. They talk about their personal relationships outside of work, with friends on the outside, or their partner, someone who SHOULD be the one they can turn to, but sadly in most cases I've found that the things I hear aren't good. People just aren't there for each other, they don't show that they care like they should. This is a trend I see a lot, always the lack of caring, and people only seem to be there for each other when it's convenient for their own purposes.

I've actually seen people only talk to others when they need something, like help putting up freight, or moving a heavy display, and then they go on about their lives like that person doesn't exist. All night long, I go around the store, and I hear people talking about how things suck, and it's largely due to the fact that they don't feel like anyone cares about them.

There's this couple I work with, both of them stockers, and they seem pretty close, I'm not sure if they are actually married or not, but I'm pretty sure they've been together for a while. The woman is down on the man a lot, she seems to be a bit controlling, nothing like the woman that I left a few short months ago , but there are similarities. They don't communicate very well, and now I know they are at work, like the rest of us, but if you are in a relationship like that, it is imperative that you communicate well or it just won't work. I can attest to that in my own relationship, it didn't work because we couldn't communicate. For all I know however, they could just be at a different stage in their relationship, and haven't created a lifelong bond, the one that makes you feel like there is someone that really "gets" you, and you can't spend a minute without them being there that doesn't make you miss them terribly. If it were me, and someone I was in a relationship with worked with me, I would be ecstatic to be able to work with them as well as be with them at home.

But then it goes back to what I observed earlier, people aren't there for each other. People that are just acquanitances, or those with close friendships or in romantic relationships just don't realize how special those people are. I really enjoy having the friends I have at work, and I go out of my way to make sure that they know that if no one else cares, I do. I come by, sometimes making a special trip, to say hello, how are you doing today, and really listen and let them know that I'm interested in what they have to say. You'd be surprised at some of the responses I get from them when they realize that someone is genuinely concerned about their well being.

I'm fortunate in that I have a close friend, now I don't work with them, but I find that having them to be there for me makes it easier to go to work and know that someone is thinking of me, and cares. So many times though I see and hear about those that do not have someone, or wish that someone they care about would be there for them, just show that they care, and not just concern themselves with their own lives, their own job. It doesn't take much either, just a friendly hello, and a smile. People get so caught up with what task they have at hand, or problems with their own situation, that they forget that there are people who want and need their attention. It makes me furious to know that there are people who just don't care about the feelings of others enough to just take a minute of their time and say something, it doesn't take long, just a smile and a hello can sometimes make someone's day.

So that's what I do. I talk, I listen, and I'm available. It's easy, and very fulfilling, and makes my job a great place to work. And maybe if i do it enough, it'll rub off on others.

This is just one of my observations so far. I'm going to work every night watching, listening, hearing, and it really is a learning experience to find out how people see their world, and the others in it, and see how they interact.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Self improvement

I haven't posted in a while, I've been thinking rather than writing. I haven't really had the desire to write anything down, as I have been more active in talking to people, whether it be at work, online, on the phone, wherever. Living MY life, that's what I've been doing. It's been 2 months now since I moved out, and once I got over the newness of my situation, and settled in to my new job, I set out on a quest of self improvement.

I've been reading, meditating, and as I said before, thinking and interacting with people. I wrote in a post not too long ago about the fact that I missed the company of a woman. That feeling is no longer with me, as one of the major changes I found I needed to make was to learn some self control. See, for as long as I can remember, I have had this desire to have a woman love me, to BE with someone, and it was all because I had never been happy with myself, loved myself for who I was. So I looked for a woman to fill that void. I call it the "love me" syndrome.

In order to become more independent, well rounded person, I realized I needed to make a change, so I literally shut off the "love me", and right away, two things sorta surprised me. One was how easily I was able to just turn it off, and the other was how little I missed it. That "love me" dominated everything in how I interacted with women, and once I got rid of it, I felt free to do whatever I wanted, and be happy with myself. To be ME.

I've now decided to make more changes, some internal, and some external. Internally I am becoming accustomed to being in charge of my own life, and not worrying about what anyone else thinks about it. Making decisions based on my thoughts, not thinking with someone else's thoughts, which is really the gist of what it is I had been doing all those years prior. "Will so-and-so think this will be what I should say, what I should do?" That was me. I'm a lot happier and more comfortable now knowing I don't have to think that way.

Externally I have decided to make a few changes too. I'm going to color my hair, I'm 38, and the salt and pepper look I currently have has GOT to go, I don't like how old it makes me look. I'm also going to buy some new clothes, as my wardrobe is old and not at all in style. I also plan to buy some dumbbells, and start a workout program to build some muscle. All these things I've been putting off for years, and it's time I got started taking care of them. Stuff that "I" have wanted to do, but for one reason or another got put on the back burner.

So there's my life as it is today. I'm concentrating heavily on improving myself, and I feel like I've made a good start.