Musings on Bicycling and Buddhism

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I had been in the same place for so long I forgot what it was to be a newbie.  At this time last year we had hired a bunch of new waitstaff, and one young man in particular was very anxious to know how long it would be - exactly - until he wasn't a newbie anymore.  I now wonder exactly the same thing.

A friend of mine was saying that she's been at her "new" job for just over a year, and finally - just maybe a little bit now - she feels like they're trusting her to do her job.  Finally everything she says and every judgement isn't questioned constantly.  She isn't being given filler tasks and constantly being told she doesn't know all the things she's supposed to know.  She is finally being impeded slightly less at doing her job by those who are trying to tell her how to do it.

It sure is hard being the new kid.

Especially when the turnover isn't particularly high (which is a good thing), and they haven't had to do this in quite awhile.  Haven't had to break in a new person in so long that so they've forgotten how.

Well, guess what?! I'm new.  I'm going to make mistakes.

And lots of them.  And I might not understand something the first time.

Not only is this a new job, it's a new industry.  A whole new world.

But I won't be swayed.  And you can tell me one thing, and then do something completely different.  You can say, well you should be doing this or that; or know this or that.  But I won't know until it comes up.  Because there is no guide here, no standardization, no training - just jump in the deep end and swim.  (Coincidentally, as a child I had to be rescued from many a swimming lesson for almost drowning because I jumped in the deep end.)  Even though all the manuals are years old and out of date and I'm supposed to know them, even though I don't have all the answers - I will swim.

And this may come off as impassioned.  And maybe I sound frustrated - because, face it - I am.

But this is a chance to expand my capacity and I will not back down.  Sure, maybe I haven't proven myself indispensable here yet, but I will.  I will work as hard as it takes, as long as it takes, to produce some kind of concrete, proactive, and innovative value.

I work on my off hours.  I work in my sleep.

I'm not backing down.  Not from this momentary obstacle, not from anything.

Because this doesn't define me, it can't.  My potential is bigger than this.

And one thing I don't have much of, and boy do I know it - is patience.

But I'll grow some.

Hi, I'm the newbie.  I make mistakes, lots of them.  Every day.

But I'm learning.

We have this quote in the office on one of the filing cabinets attributed to Thomas Edison and it reads, "If you want to increase your success, you must double your rate of failure."  Well, if that's the case then I'm golden. I'm here to learn.

When I was a kid we took the training wheels off my bike when I was 7, pretty late, eh?  I couldn't ride without them so I gave up for 3 years.  Then one day, when I was 10 - after having started riding horses for several years at that point - I got on a bike and could ride.  Just. Like. That.

Maybe this is the story of my life?

Ok, I'm off to make some more mistakes!  No I'm not begrudging myself here - I'm learning....

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Tour de What You Will by Jessie Calkins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License