Let's say you bought your long-term care administrator an expensive venti tall double-half frappalatte on your way to work yesterday, and he didn't reimburse you for it. How should you respond?
You have several choices. Should you A) playfully remind him about it when you pass in the hall; B) consider it an investment in your future and move on; or C) sucker punch him in the face at the next stand-up?
If you're taking workplace inspiration and guidance from the National Football League, as we all should be, the correct answer is obvious: C. When mediocre NFL quarterback Geno Smith failed to repay a small debt earlier this week, a teammate hauled off and broke his jaw. On the surface, this might seem like an over-reaction, but it's important not to judge. Whether in the New York Jets locker room or your facility break room, sometimes violence is absolutely the only option.
With NFL training camps already under way, this is just one of the helpful life lessons long-term care can glean from professional football. For instance, if it could help you win your building's next Lasix speed dispensing derby, deflate the wheels on your opponent's med cart. If you truly love a co-worker, show it by knocking her unconscious in an elevator. Go ahead and take out someone over a parking space dispute, but only if you really, really have to.
Certainly, there are many alternate ways to resolve disputes in our profession. Some experts offer very practical and positive prescriptions for tackling a negative workplace. Others take a more basic approach: Just stop complaining, though from my experience, anyone who suggests something that annoyingly simple is at serious risk of being slapped. Whether or not they're right.
But here's an important disclaimer: Even in the NFL, not every event easily yields a useful teaching moment. Like attempting to throw a one-yard pass into traffic on the goal line in the Super Bowl instead of handing the ball to the most beastly running back on the planet. I'm sure there's a positive lesson to be drawn from that horrible decision, but all these painful months later, I still don't know what it is.
Things I Think is written by Gary Tetz, a national Silver Medalist and regional Gold Medal winner in the 2014 Association of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) awards program. He has amused, informed and sometimes befuddled long-term care readers worldwide since his debut with the former SNALF.com at the end of a previous century. He is a multimedia consultant for Consonus Healthcare Services in Portland, OR.