There are days at work that test my patience to the limit, like these past couple of days. Coming off a couple of weeks of Christmas vacation should have left me rested and pleasant, no?
Not exactly. I always return in the new year frazzled. Not because I didn’t decompress enough over the holiday, or celebrate well with my family and friends, but because the new year at school always means other kinds of stress coming off the students. God bless them, every one. They return a little nervous and requiring some guidance and good advisement. I don’t blame them, but they come by the hundreds. It’s a little daunting for a dozen advisors, believe me.
I’m torn between providing some really good customer service or seeing as many students as possible to get them through the day efficiently. Sometimes I look at the numbers and forget what it’s really about, the student.
That silly Mother Teresa bobblehead stared at me from her little perch high on my bookshelf, and I remembered this quote:
“I never look at the masses as my responsibility; I look at the individual. I can only love one person at a time – just one, one, one. So you begin. I began – I picked up one person. Maybe if I didn’t pick up that one person, I wouldn’t have picked up forty-two thousand….The same thing goes for you, the same thing in your family, the same thing in your church, your community. Just begin – one, one, one.”
It changed my approach significantly. I listened. I chatted. We laughed a little. And somehow, I think I served dozens of students in this way. One person at a time.