Day 67. The Dale Carnegie principles backfired on me. I had a different blog planned for today….

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 67.  Tuesday, May 31, 2011
This day did not turn out as expected.

In preparation for our video presentation on Tuesday, I worked on Monday (Memorial Day).  My boss had commented that one of our studios was a mess.  So I decided I’d clean it on Monday.  This studio has become a storage room for trash to be “recycled.”  I have no idea why we are recycling—and I don’t know why we are storing it in my studio. 

To be recycled...

As I was cleaning this room, I discovered the bags of trash were quite heavy, they stunk and they were leaking goo all over the floor.  This made me mad.  I starting writing a scathing email that I was going to send to management about this matter but then I deleted it.  I knew we needed to make a good impression on our guests so I did my best to focus on cleaning the mess. 

As I said, the bags were heavy—I could not lift them.  So I carefully dragged them through several rooms, then to the warehouse near the dumpster.  As I was dragging this very disgusting trash—I thought to myself—“why am I doing this?  No one will notice.  No one will say thanks.  Why do we store trash to be recycled in our offices?  Why am I working on Memorial Day?  I am a fool for caring.” 

I decided just to accept the inevitable.  Someone has to get the office ready for our guests.  And I will simply apply Dale Carnegie’s principle:  Expect ingratitude.

I completed this task and considered other details.  Our guests have a long day ahead of them on Tuesday.  What can I do to make the day easier?  I decided I’d pick up their favorites snacks.  I also bought a bouquet of flowers—this would be a great way to welcome our guests when they arrive. 

I worked busily getting all the details together.  I again decided to accept the inevitable.  No one will notice.  No one will care.  I will expect ingratitude.  And I could very well be a fool for caring.

When my boss and guests arrived to the office this morning… I heard a squeal of delight as they noticed the flowers.  I was stunned. 

Then we walked through the offices together—and I knew my boss was cringing as we were approaching the trash filled studio.  She looked at me and when our guests weren’t looking, she whispered, “you cleaned it?!” 

We continued walking through the offices into our filming studio.  My boss looked at me again and said—“you’ve prepared the room so well.  It looks great.”

As the day progressed everyone enjoyed their favorite snacks.  I offered them Dr. Pepper—their favorite soft drink.  They responded by saying—“wow—she thought of everything.” 

I brought water bottles for the individuals who were the “stars” of the presentation.  I had straws ready—(so they wouldn’t ruin their makeup).  This detail was commented on and appreciated.

The final blow happened at the end of the day.  My boss made a comment about me in front of everyone:  “we would be screwed without her.”

So… clearly, my day and blog did not turn out as anticipated.  I was fully expecting ingratitude.  Instead everyone seemed to use a Dale Carnegie principle on me:
From How to Win Friends and Influence People:
Principle 2. Give honest, sincere appreciation.

I find myself at a loss for words with this blog.  I think you my readers would be better equipped to write the conclusion or life lesson you are to take away from this story.  I think I’m too close and too affected by this experience. 

In a nutshell—do your best, expect ingratitude and show appreciation towards others.  When you do these three things—you will reap what you sow.  And don’t forget to thank God for the harvest.

Housekeeping / Notes
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5 thoughts on “Day 67. The Dale Carnegie principles backfired on me. I had a different blog planned for today….

  1. This is great, Denise! I would personally like to thank you for taking out the nasty trash! If I had been around, I would have thanked you for cleaning up and I would have offered to help you. 🙂 One of my least favorite things to do at work is to take out the “baby diaper” trash, as I call it. It’s the trash that has all of the hot, wet, heavy grounds in it from the coffee we’ve brewed all morning. It gets so heavy! And if it touches your leg, it feels like baby diapers, yuck. I try to think of it as a mini-work-out, as it’s basically like doing dead lifts when picking it up. 🙂

  2. Ah, LittleBaird,
    I’m still processing the image of giant bags with coffee grounds that feel like baby diapers. Yikes! I love your approach– seeing it as a mini-workout is the best solution. Hmm… guess we could say you make lemonade from coffee grounds….

  3. LittleBaird ALWAYS takes out “baby diaper” trash. Those trashbags are actually the first thing I thought about when reading this post. Whether acknowledged or not, you are appreciated as much at work as LittleBaird is.

  4. By the way, SmilingDaffodil, your nail polish still looks GREAT in the Life Lesson picture. 🙂

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