Yesterday I was at a Business Conference. I learned a lot about the topic I was there to learn. I also learned a few other things. Like:
1. Laughing and giggling and generally acting like an 8 year old while a speaker is speaking is not only rude, but quite distracting. Seriously, the ladies behind me in one session never stopped talking and giggling. I was made aware afresh of how rude that is. I will try to remember that when I am tempted to do that. It is not nice for the speaker or for those around you.
2. In one session, the topic of references for terminated employees came up. The advice given was that, as representatives of our companies, it is in the best interest of our companies not to say anything negative about a former employee. In essence, give no information. And yet, the session speaker went on to tell of a case where a man with a very bad record in his past jobs, went on to get a job at a nursing home and murder several of the patients there. The former employers had never let that nursing home know this man’s true history. Even after telling that story, she still stuck to her guns and said you shouldn’t say anything because of a potential slander lawsuit. One guy raised his hand and challenged her on that. He said that if he were in the other employer’s shoes, he would want to know. All kinds of discussion got going–most of it saying we need to protect our companies, etc. I wanted to raise my hand and quote Jesus’s words “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And I might have, too, if she didn’t stop the conversation before it got too out of hand. But, in that conversation, I learned that the world’s thought on this is that you worry about your own interests and not about the interests of others. I guess my question would be: Can a negative reference really be labeled as “slander” if you have everything fully documented, anyway? The whole discussion made me quite sad. But it tells me where the world really is on even the most basic of Christian principles.
3. It was a dreary day and I was tired. I was sure I would struggle with falling asleep during the sessions. Thankfully, all but one were extremely interesting and informative. One thing I found disappointing, though, was the occasional use of expletives while speaking. Another tell tale sign of where our country is morally, in my opinion. 25 years ago, no one would have ever used bad language while speaking to a large group of business professionals. No one. Yes, that language was used–in bars, on the streets, and by school students who thought they were cool. But never at a professional event by a speaker. I think it says a little about the class of this nation. The country we knew is disappearing–quite rapidly. I was sad about that, too (even though I was pretty much aware of this one).
4. I learned about GOMOs yesterday, which stands for “Get Out of My Office” people. The same thing can be applied in life. We all have people who suck the energy out of us. The ones who demand a lot of our time, so that they can complain about THEIR lives, talk about THEIR activities, cry about THEIR misfortunes. The advice was to gently and kindly set boundaries for GOMOs. I think that is good advice.
5. And, last, but certainly not least, I got to talking with a very sweet lady at lunch. She is a lawyer who is very knowledgeable in labor law. She could not have been nicer and invited me to call her with any questions. In the course of conversation, we figured out that I had graduated from high school with her husband (now that is a small world!). Both of us had moved away and somehow, on a dreary day in November, I had run into his wife. Anyway, what so impressed me with this woman was how she was so friendly and gracious, while remaining professional. There are so many lawyers (of course, not all) who are arrogant and give the impression that they are doing you a favor if they even deem to talk to you. I found her so refreshing. And I guess the lesson I learned from her is that no matter what surroundings you find yourself, no matter what your profession, no matter who you are with, there is always a call for friendliness and kindness and consideration of others. What kind of impression am I giving people? What kind of impression are you giving people?
So there you have it. No Bible verses to back the lessons up (although I could find some). Life lessons can be found everywhere. Just open your eyes and look around you today.