One of the jobs I had in my early 20s lasted about three hours. I went in, and as I was being shown the ropes, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the knowledge that this was a really bad fit. But instead of waiting to the end of my shift, I changed into my street clothes, left the uniform in the bathroom, and quickly skulked out the door. I was truly ashamed of myself. I had never done such a thing before that day or since. After beating myself up and worrying for a long time that I’d run into the hiring manager in public, I determined to conduct certain aspects of my life differently and committed to finishing well, no matter what.
One decision was to face all difficult situations head on and to learn from others who had done exactly that.
Sloane got juice and a big bouquet of flowers for her boss’s desk. After being with the company for years, she wanted to soften the news that she was about to deliver, that she was moving on to another job that she was better suited for. She prepared for the worst from her boss: a tantrum, a tirade and possibly tears. Whether Sloane was allowed to finish her two weeks’ notice was in the hands of The Creator; she planned to endure and keep her focus on the prize–the new job. She wanted to finish well. In the end, Sloane’s boss was upset and cried, but ultimately wished her well.
Then there’s Roxy. Her neighborhood had changed considerably since she first rented her apartment. While she stayed there, she had paid for approved updates out of her own pocket, which the facilities person installed on the company dime. Even though she loved her place, especially the reasonable price, she admitted it was time to move.
Some tenants who left Roxy’s neighborhood abandoned piles of belongings. This forced facilities managers to put them on the curb until the special pick-up teams came to collect them. Roxy decided to leave her apartment clean and in better shape than when she found it, and what she didn’t take was put into the refuse can for pick up. Not only did she get her deposit back, but she also gained an excellent referral from the property owners.
What does this mean for you?
There’s a saying you may have heard, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Whatever circumstances you find yourself in, you choose how to react. You can be rash or can be reasonable. You can petty or pragmatic. Even if your boss is brutal, you can be kind. Even if your old digs are going to the dogs, you can still leave them clean and in good shape.
Part of being an encourager is setting a good example for others. Sloane’s story was the first time I’d heard of getting a boss flowers when an employee was leaving, but a great example of showing respect and planning to end well. Whoever moves into Roxy’s old apartment is going to love finding an unexpected oasis in the desert. The owners are currently renovating many of the other units. I like to think she inspired them.
Whether the people you face at an endpoint are worthy of your respect and consideration or not, you show integrity and class by bestowing kindness and treating them well. Of course, this isn’t always easy to do. But it is always better to avoid burning bridges as much as it is within your power. The good you do and the kindness you show is never wasted. It is character building and will follow you wherever you go. We can’t know the future, but we can plant the seeds now that will never fail to bear good fruit.
Have a story to share about ending well? Post in the comments! I always love hearing from you.
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