This is a result of an interaction in a group of professionals. It is a group specifically dedicated to engineering matters and the rule is strictly to be observed. compliance is strict as well. many senior members that ran foul of the rules were removed to enforce discipline.
And so, the group was working well and running smoothly, with everyone fully aware of the dos and donts and there were orderliness in the house…
On the sidelines, is this unknown face. we called him (or her) the WeatherMan. for good reason. He has no name tag, and his only contribution to the group is to post weather forecast for Lagos city. He was consistent as he was irritating. He did not show up in any other discussions nor properly time his weather reporting. You could be on a crucial discussion which is generating passionate feedback from participants and drawing important inputs and the next thing you will see is the weather forecast in its annoying appearance and what follows is predictable… silent. And then the foregoing discussion would be lost.
Both the discussion and the weather forecast would thereafter receive “loud” silence. This happened over and over again. Of course, the weather forecast are very important but no one ever responded to his message or thank him. The group administrator didn’t know what to do about him.
Then one day, the weather reports stopped flowing. the administrator has quietly removed him. Again, no one bother to ask why it stopped just as the house continued to exist.
The house moves on.. The Weatherman was not remembered.
After a long while, a senior member raised the issue. What happened to our weather man? Our weather man has hone missing! To this, contributions poured in. .. He was not appreciated. . He was condemned.. Where is our weatherman ? etc.. Then admin later showed up and cleared the air.. “I removed him since he never contribute anything aside posting weather reports.”
What follows surprised me… a lot of members, commented on the important of weather forecast and each and everyone that commented including administrator acknowledged this. They unanimously concluded that the weather man should be brought back. Engineers need the weather forecast and we must learn to get along with it. It could be boring, monotonous .. whatever, we must realise it is still useful to our profession. all agreed.
And the weatherman was back again… he thanked us all and bang, he posted his weather forecast again! This time, people thanked him for his efforts!
I pondered upon this episode and came up with the following lessons:
1. Sometimes, while you think no one was watching your little efforts, no one appreciates, or no one is reading what you spend hours after hours preparing, the reality may just be on the reverse. While no one commended our weatherman, it was glaring based on the dialogue that ensued when his case was brought up that they are all are reading, even if without acknowledging this. After all, what is there to comment or debate in weather report? If it is going to rain or storm.. debating is best way to punish yourself.. Go put your house in order and prepare for rain or storm, since you cannot stop it. And if turns out there is no rain despite the prediction, it hurts you not in anyway. It is much better than when there is rain or storm and you are caught unaware with attendant loss and avoidable disaster.
2. If you are doing a boring monotonous job, don’t provoke your audiences by pushing your services at their nose. They will despise you. do your job quietly and wait for your rewards from right quarter. it is human nature to treat passive occupation with indifference. the street sweepers are doing our cities great work and keeping epidemics away..Yet none of us do more than give them passive glances. at most a few among us dropped a few naira for them. until rubbish over take the city and epidemic registered its unwanted presence. That is when we remember the importance of street sweepers.
3. Don’t be too obsessed with your work that you neglect to notice the other people’s feeling and their needs. Contribute into their own even though they are not appreciating yours. The only way to win love is to give it. You cannot be shunning other people and then expect them to cuddle you with love. You are at their mercy…especially when your services is something they can easily dispense with.
4. Don’t judge too quickly. Many at times we have individuals who don’t like explaining themselves when they have taken decision. They are sometimes mysterious that their actions an inaction often provoke suspicion. When we think we have caught them and can now nail them, we realise that we have committed great blunder. ..We have judged them wrongly! Don’t judge too quickly and always leave allowance for error of judgement
5. Communicate. . communicate.. it is one thing to talk like parrot or radio station, it is another to communicate and get your message across. both are not the same. So many times, we are sending out messages only to find that our messages are either ignored or not achieving desired results. it is time to pause and examine our ways of communication and then make amend.
6. No matter what you do, there are people who appreciate your work(s) and quietly wish you well. Have you ever ponder on why dead men receive more eulogy while than when they were alive?
7. Obey the rules… if you must break the rule… make sure it is for good. Otherwise, if you are caught, you will face the music. Respect others, listen to and look for a way to get their feedback on your services with view to be better. To be blind to logic by saying you don’t care what people think. In the end, those who appreciate you will one day praise you in your presence or behind you.