Today’s Morning Buzz is by Jackie Wehmeyer, Senior Director of Strategy and Intergovernmental Affairs for the City of Parkland, Florida. Parkland was named one of the Best Places to Work in Local Government in 2021 by ELGL and a Top Workplace in 2022.
Connect with Jackie on LinkedIn.
What I’m Reading: Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
What I’m Watching: Christmas Vacation for about the 29th time since Thanksgiving
What I’m Listening To: Changes by Jeremih
One important thing I learned in 2022 is that life is a test of patience, whether it’s at work, or in our personal lives. When we are young, we impatiently wish to be old enough to make our own decisions. Then whether it’s as simple as traffic, or a relationship, or a promotion, we get caught up in continuous tests of patience. Some people say that as we get older, we lose patience. That may be true, but I believe that if we recognize experiences as tests of our patience, we open ourselves to more of it.
I recently received a call from a resident who called to complain about car damage he received at a local school two years ago. The school isn’t our jurisdiction, and he knew it, but he continued to explain how frustrated he was at the other organization not taking responsibility for his damage. I thought, why is he calling me? I would normally have interrupted by now to explain that there was nothing we could do in this situation, but as he continued, he actually said that he knew we couldn’t do anything, but said he appreciated that I listened to him, thanked me, and hung up. This isn’t a pat on the back for me that I endured the conversation, but rather, it was a lesson for me to be more patient with the next issue, as maybe that’s all I need to do. Our residents don’t have the same understanding that we do of how government operates, and sometimes just need to feel heard.
I found that patience paid off with my career progression, after taking on several additional duties that tested my abilities and stamina. My manager provided me with the opportunity to not only progress, but broaden my horizons. There were days I wanted to ask to “give back” the additional work so I could focus on my original position, but I had faith and trust in my situation and my manager. Now I have the ability to become more personally and professionally fulfilled, and can give more to my organization.
I also found some patience with a coworker who hadn’t truly made me feel a part of the team for years. He still doesn’t completely trust me, but has made some efforts toward working with me. I’d accepted that since I’m not for everyone, and that’s okay, being liked wasn’t necessarily required. But in listening to some work culture history, and being consistent in my own behavior, I learned to be patient with teamwork and collaboration.
I found the quote, “Have patience with all things and people, but first be patient with yourself.” I may have realized this type of patience most this year. Maybe it’s more self-forgiveness than patience, but I’ve learned that I am not required to be perfect. Others are more patient with my foibles than I realize. And I am able to do more when I take the time to listen, understand, and reflect.
I believe that a lot of issues are simply rooted in misunderstandings that may just take a little patience in listening and forgiving. In 2023, may we all grant more patience with others, and with ourselves.