Rather than simply present a topic of Stress and Business, I thought I'd follow up with some levity regarding my business exploits. Yes, an important weapon in the anti-anxiety arsenal is HUMOR. If we are to thrive in this world, we must be able to laugh at ourselves (and others!)
Here are a few observations, laugh - it's OK.
Stress and business...The Wisdom Of Keeping My Mouth Shut: I learned very early in my career to literally keep my mouth shut while working. I've lost count of the number of times where I was using my string trimmer, had my mouth open, and had a pebble ricochet off my front tooth. I've realized I am only a stone's throw away from having the smile of a Jack-O-Lantern.
Stress and business...To Appreciate Central Air Conditioning: It gets rather warm in the South during the summer (how profound). Some days are so hot that I literally have to peel off my work clothes. Sometimes I brace for a concussion from the loud sucking noise made when I undress. I feel like some kind of indescribable newborn in an Animal Planet special, clawing my way out of an amniotic sack!
Stress and business...This Landscaper Can Dance: Around late summer, the yellow jackets tend to become more prevalent. I know I've located and disrupted a nest the minute I start convulsing and spinning around while swatting at myself and speaking in tongues. I'm like a twisted hybrid of a fat guy employing Michael Jackson dance moves and a figure skater in need of an exorcism.
Stress and business...I Have The Best Meltdowns In My Truck: When I feel the need to release my pressure valve, I always wait until I am safely seated in my truck, doors closed & locked, and windows up, before I begin talking to myself. This usually happens after a machine breaks down at a job site. When things are really bad, I'm sure to plug in my phone headset. I still have the old clunky one that has a wire connecting me to the phone - I look like a Britney Spears backup singer wearing dental headgear. The reason I wear the headset is because I want people to think I'm engaging in fierce business negotiations with a supplier on the other end of the line. It's all about image...
Stress and business...Visiting Tokyo: This is a term I use to describe client's patios that have all the makings of a yard sale: garden gnomes, seashells, flower pots, flip flops, ash trays, clothing, bug zappers, tiki torches, eye glasses, spray bottles, folding chairs, laundry pins, old dentures, welcome mats, unfinished cocktails. Almost every square inch of the 5 x 8 foot patio is covered with enough stuff, that it looks like the Tokyo skyline from afar.
The humor becomes evident when I - "Godzilla" arrive with my commercial grade backpack blower with a muzzle velocity of 201 mph to clean up any errant grass clippings to keep things neat. Imagine a 5'10", 260 lb., sweaty, sun burned, delirious, exhausted, mud and grass covered landscaper wearing a heavy leaf blower trying to employ hopscotch footwork while operating aforementioned power equipment.
They might as well throw in a limbo bar while they're at it. Like Godzilla, I ultimately end up crashing through everything, blasting clients personal affects all over the place, and spewing fire because I'm so ticked off!
Yes, I am the missing link. I hope you've enjoyed some of my observations. I look forward to adding to the list and sharing them with you.
Please remember to try to find the humor in everything. The alternative won't help.
- Ted Stefanski
Extreme Landscaper, Back Up Dancer, Fierce Negotiator, Godzilla Wanna Be