Blog: Life Management
YOU SEE THAT MESS? YOU'RE DONE!
My heart filled with parental pride as I watched our young son march off down the street day after day to deliver newpapers on his route. "What a wonderful life lesson to lay the foundation for a solid work ethic!" Or so I thought.
As the days went on the work ethic base seemed to be eroding. "I don't want to do my route today!" yelled my son as he stomped out the door filled with rage at not being able to play with his friends after school. Soon the street corner where the papers were dropped off began to look like a messy whirlwind of loose newspaper, local store flyers, and plastic straps that held the paper bundles together.
It was explained that the neighbors near that corner were not happy with this unsightly litter blowing around their yards. A warning was issued that if his corner was found to be a mess one more time ... he'd be done! The route would be pulled from him and he'd have to resign from being a press delivery boy. Surely this would scare him into better behavior.
Wrong! Shortly after the line was drawn in the sand the whirlwind hit again and I filled my car trunk with debris from his newspaper corner. Pulling into the driveway I wanted in the worst way to just throw it all into the trash and give him yet another warning. No, I had to follow through.
I walked in the house and asked my son to accompany me outside to the car. The trunk was opened and the words, "You're done!" flew out of my mouth. "No! Please Mom. Don't take my paper route away," he pleaded. (Although secretly I've always thought he was saying, "Yes!" inside himself. He really didn't want that route but he really didn't want the humiliation of being fired either.)
Later that night I was doing some reading before lights out. In the book I was reading it was sighting how many times Abraham Lincoln had failed running for office. It also told of how Bobby Kennedy couldn't manage his own paper route. "There's hope!" I screamed inside myself.
Though paper routes weren't his niche, this very son is now serving as chief of staff of the Oklahoma State Legislature. Perhaps the follow through of "You're done!" served him well all these years since.
posted on: 7/7/2009 12:00:00 PM by Judy Warmington
category: The Mental Side
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Judy Warmington, Woman Time Management (owner) -- Busy wife, mother of three adult/married children, grandmother of 10 (5 boys and 5 girls!), former high school teacher (M.A. from W.M.U.), Speaker, Author, Radio Personality, and Trainer of Professional Organizers.