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Congress Gets Waiver | Main | Top Healine Comments 8-8-13
August 07, 2013

Overnight Open Thread: Wednesday -- 8/7/2013

Well, 'Rons & 'Ettes, it looks like you drew the short straw again tonight, due to a bit of scheduling confusion. But, again, try not to get too bent out of shape about it. Your regular correspondent will be assuming his role in very short order. 'Til then, you have the pale substitute that is the Damn Dirty RINO to bridge the gap.

Last night found me in a bit of an introspective mood the had me waxing philosophical on the under-appreciated merits of failure. Tonight, however, finds me in a different frame of mind -- one with a yen to ponder the way in which we relate to our fellow human beings, be they friends, colleagues, lovers, wives, or sworn enemies. Sure, it would be nice if life only presented us with puppies, butterflies and dear old friends with which to contend on a daily basis. But, the bare fact of the matter is that we have to share this big blue ball with all manner of unsavory creatures like spiders and snakes and sharks and dingos.

And, when you think about it, nobody has to confront such menacing fauna to a greater degree than Australians. Yet, somehow, they seem to remain a distinctly agreeable people in spite of it all. Having spent a good number of hours watching nature shows on basic cable, I'm well aware of the fact that the average suburban Aussie encounters at least one funnel web spider, a tiger snake, two salt water crocodiles and several species of shark on his way to work every day. And they do it all with a sunny disposition.

So, why is it that we Americans sometimes seem so given to churlishness and spite when dealing with relatively minor nettles, like personality clashes with coworkers?

Maybe it's just a product of the striving, competitive culture of America that tells us to constantly be on the lookout for someone trying to gain and advantage over us in our careers. While the current political class seems intent on beating that out of us by whatever means deemed necessary, it's going to take a lot more than eight years of a collectivist administration to pull it off. And it certainly seems that trait is exaggerated in the cutthroat world of corporate broadcasting.

But, while competitiveness is an admirable quality on the whole, there's also a great deal to be said for teamwork. And there's nothing about the broadcasting world that makes it inherently impossible for people to work together as a cohesive unit.

Look, I understand what it's like to work in a bureaucratic, dog-eat-dog environment. I've done time in a lot of different industries at varying levels of responsibility -- some of which I was obviously better suited to than others. And I've worked alongside just about every imaginable species of douchebag, harridan, brown-noser, and backstabber you care to list. But, over the years, I've learned that the way you choose to interact with a person in the crucial moments upon first having met them can have a profound effect on your future and that of everyone one around you in any given environment.

And, obviously, that doesn't just apply to coworkers and colleagues. In fact, it's even more important to keep it in mind when dealing with those who live and work in less prestigious circles. I mean, you never know what a waitress or a delivery driver is going through in his or her life outside of work. And, obviously, you also can't know exactly what they're doing at every moment while they're at work, either.

Now, that's not to say that complete incompetence or a poor attitude ought to be overlooked or tolerated just because the person works in an unglamorous or unrewarding position. The truth is, failing to make it clear that a certain level of service is expected in exchange for your cheerful demeanor and/or gratuity actually ends up hurting not just other customers or clients who come after you, but the person who holds that unsuitable position as well.

But it's important that you communicate your dissatisfaction as clearly and effectively as possible. In the end, the way in which you choose to express yourself will determine what message that person takes away from your interaction.

As human beings, we're more sensitive to subtle emotional cues than our animal counterparts. So our choice of words is often as important as our tone of voice in dictating what kind of response we get when we communicate. And our emotional responses have an immeasurable effect on our general well-being. That's why bedside manner plays such a crucial role in a doctor's ability to treat a patient's illness.

And, just as it's important to be mindful of what we say and how we say it to people we work and deal with on a daily basis, we should be extra vigilant in how we communicate to the people who mean the most to us in our personal lives. So, while it would be nearly impossible to make it all the way through life without hurting the ones we love the most with our words and demeanor, we would all do well to keep in mind that the mere sound of our voices can mean the whole world to those we care about the most deeply.

The human soul senses beauty in the sound of the human voice, and the written and spoken word just as exquisitely as it does in the shapes and colors and the lights and shadows before our eyes. More than anything else, we find beauty in each other. And, personally, I find beauty in gingers -- particularly the one in the latest Netflix ad.

Tonights ONT brought to you by The Ace of Spades HQ Comments Section:

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