05 September 2007

The Thrill of Having Strings

The service industry can be brutal.

Let's face it, if you are manufacturing or creating art or fixing cars or any one a myriad of things that are production related, you have a built in buffer between you and the customer. Sure, you might have to deal with critics or fickle consumers or market forces or whatever, but those affect the job you do, not necessarily how you DO your job.

If you are in a service field you have someone standing over your shoulder as you perform. The stream of second-guessing, backseat quarterbacking, and un-informed critique is delivered not after you have performed, but during. There is always a hand on top of yours, fighting for control of the mouse, the steering wheel, or the cash-register. Everyone has a better way, everyone thinks your performance could be better, even when they have no idea what your performance entails.

Use me as you will
Pull my strings just for a thrill
And I know I'll be ok
Though my skies are turning gray

-- Your Guardian Angel
by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Today I'm struggling with the weight of criticism. Even the confident among us (a group in which most people would include me) feel the urge from time to time to be free of the henpecking and nitpicking.

I know I add value. I know I have worth. Usually my service gives me purpose. My purpose gives me strength. When my service is for fallible people, I forget and look for a fallible reward. Big mistake.

When I'm slipping and I've brought my eyes down, it is my friends that remind me to look up. Sometimes with their words, sometimes with their silence. It helps to have someone you trust pulling your strings.

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