What I do deals with issues that aren’t the end of the world but everyone thinks are. I think this ‘end of world feeling’ is simply because people don’t like anything impinging on a comfortable working life. Anything which makes the 9-5 hard seems to stretch many people to snapping.
Yet discomfort in the workplace is just as valid a tool for making changes in the workplace, as it is in life . The only difference seems to be in life we kind of expect to be uncomfortable and (hopefully) we learn to hang out with it for a bit. At work not so much.
In the corporate world management hierarchy gives people a false sense of comfort. You can always try to hand the discomfort to someone else; try to forget it’s your discomfort and it’s happening to you. I witnessed this recently and it reminded me so much of how humans in their struggle to not be uncomfortable, perpetuate the discomfort. No one took ownership until three months later someone finally owned their discomfort. And shock horror there was a truly positive outcome. Yet it could have been sorted much sooner with a bit of acceptance things were uncomfortable.
It’s easy to be comfortable but I’m learning slowly (well it is Jane world) the more we accept discomfort the less it lasts for. Today I was singing away (to the Gaslight Anthem in case anyone cares) cleaning my house, really happy and then something made me think of my grandma’s scone recipe and I started crying because I miss her. So I cried and then on my day went. So I go there and it’s not easy but even acknowledging it’s not easy is a step to getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if it’s at work or with your mates, discomfort is there to be sunk into as easily as comfort. I think that’s a graceful thing. There’s fluidity in the movement between comfort and discomfort if we allow it.
I’ve listened this song a bit lately, I’ve loved it for so long, and I know someone called Ben who might think it’s because of him but it’s not, lovely as he is. Simple Ben. The Brian Cadd, Lior, Old Man River and Mike Rudd version because I’ve seen these guys perform it live.
* This is an iphone photo and I have old iphone 3 – but I like the feeling it conveys, if not the quality :)