2023 Sep-Oct RETA Breeze


The Shade Tree Mechanic

volume LIII

COMPROMISE Give a little to get a lot. That seems like a good idea. Why the heck is it so hard? I walked inta a crazy discussion the other day. There was a war brewing about the format of a form. Now as ya probably guessed, forms are just my favorite thing. Ha! I would prefer most forms wadded into balls and burnt in the front yard. I can’t imagine arguin over the format of a form. Heck I’d throw in my 2 cents if needed, but probably wouldn’t get to arguin over it. Anyway, the form was on 11x17 paper and wouldn’t fit on a normal clip board. Idjet #1 wanted the form to be changed to 2 double sided normal pages (editor’s note 8-1/2 x 11”). Idjet #2 wanted the form to stay double sided big paper (editor’s note 11 x 17”). The discussion was getting pretty heated. Idjet#2 “It’s my form and that’s the way it’s gonna be” Idjet#1 “Then you better get use to fillin it out, cause I ain’t usin it”. Idjet#2 “I’ll make sure you get written up until you use it or gets pointed out”. Idjet#1 “You point me out over a stupid form, we’re gonna have a real problem”. Now we had an HR problem. “Real problem” = “Bu*t Kickin” in Kentucky. So, I decided it was time to calm the whole thing down before we lost two really good (but kinda crazy) team members. Well, not exactly calm it down. I piss*d them both off so they could be mad at me instead of each other. Here’s what I did, I screamed “Idjets! Order one-a-them clipboards for big paper” Don’t that seem like the best way to resolve it? Oh no, both of them try to convince me that they were right, the other was wrong, and I didn’t understand the real issue. I understood the real issue: 100% ego, 0% compromise.

Well I understood they was both actin like little kids fightin over the last Hershey bar. I had offered a solution. But both of them were so convinced they were right, they wouldn’t compromise. It was no longer about getting a solution it was about winning. Why? It’s a form. As long as it gathers the right information and is usable, then get on with your day. I will contribute my opin- ion, but I’m not getting heated about it. A guy told me one time, “Everyone has the opportunity to be wrong. If it doesn’t matter, then it doesn’t matter. Give your opinion and move on”. Good advice. I prefer to think that there are three possible positions: My way (the way it should be done). A way that will work (but not as good as mine), and then just plum wrong. Don’t forget, that it does not need to be your way to work. We just can’t live with plum wrong, sometimes. Remember “If it doesn’t matter, then it doesn’t matter”. There was another instance where a big project was held up because no one would budge. We could have gotten a good product out, not perfect, months earlier, if we had found middle ground. When we refuse to compromise, everybody loses. In another example, we had a little project held up for months and months because no one wanted to compromise. A lot of people didn’t get what they needed because egos got in the way. People wanted perfection and wouldn’t compromise on something that was pretty darn good. Next time you’re arguing over stupid s*uff (thought I was gonna use a different word didn’t ya Sara?), try to find a way to compromise! The shade tree grows outside of the little town of Broughton, Ohio. Where everyone is always welcome, the beer is always cold, and something is always needin fixin.

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