“But If I ran the zoo,” Said young Gerald McGrew, “I’d make a few changes. That’s just what I’d do … “.
If I Ran the Zoo, by Dr. Seuss, was one of my early childhood favorites. Like many things from the past, this children’s classic, published in 1950, seems a bit politically incorrect to modern eyes, but I still love its wild, imaginative words and drawings. (Word Nerd alert: The word “nerd” first appeared in print in this book.)
I have to wonder if my personality was in any way influenced by the constant repetition, forced upon my father, to read this over and over to me before bed. I do seem to have a rather severe case of “If I ran the zoo” syndrome, as does Son 1, who also enjoyed this book as a child. In fact, during Son 1’s formative years, we often said he needed to learn to “hone his leadership tendencies.” That he has accomplished, as he has honed these tendencies into a knife-like form as an attorney working in politics. I’m not quite sure that is what we intended, but it’s always good to have a job that plays to your strengths.
These, shall we nicely call them “leadership skills,” are great if you are the boss, but not so much if you are a worker bee.
I am now a happily employed, part-time worker bee. How nice to come home and not have to worry about anything work-related! As a previous business owner, I revel in not agonizing over bottom lines, profits, financing, scheduling, errant employees, power outages, shrinkage, licenses, and everything else that comes with owning your own business.
And yet … I still look at everything with a bosses’ eye. I am not in a position to do this at my new job, nor do I want to, so I tend to do it in all other aspects of my life. For example:
Why is the self check-out at the one and only grocery store in my town so complicated and glitchy? I had used this type of technology in my old home town for years, the last few using the Spanish option to make it more interesting, with no problems. A worker at my new store informed me that if you have to call her over once to fix a problem, she has to come over when you are finished to approve again. Really? If it takes longer to do it yourself than wait in the normally long lines, it’s not really helping anyone, is it?
To the companies that have told me “We cannot accept a post office box as your mailing address,” um, that’s my mailing address, so … yes, you can. I love rules as much or more than the next guy, but logic should always supersede regulations.
To our fence builders, who said it couldn’t be done, it’s up, finished and just what we wanted. Most problems have solutions, even if we are the ones who have to provide them.
I see some conflicts on the horizon, as Son 1 and I are planning a family trip to Spain this fall. We both are armed with piles of books and internet research for the itinerary. May the best man win! (And he will.) Easygoing Hubs is up for anything, just along for the adventure, and Son 2 is attending for the ham, cheese and soccer. Neither of these two has ever had a problem with invasive leadership skills … unless you cross them.
This is my life now. Wonderful as it is, the struggle is real!