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Thursday, November 4, 2010

All Thumbs Strategy

Today at 4:00 pm I found myself helping on a job for which I have little talent.  The job sounds easy enough, and it seems to be for some people.  The job is to prepare the electrical hookups for Mayor’s Night Out—a meeting held each month at various recreation centers in different parts of town.  In these meetings the mayor, several council members, and key city staff from various departments meet the public in the evening. The settings are the gymnasiums in the recreation centers.  The afternoon of the event at the determined site, tables are set up along the walls and electric has to be run to each table.  This involves using Velcro to fasten electrical strips to the table legs, daisy chaining some of the strips, and running wires to wall outlets for current.  The final step is to tape over the wires on the floor to avoid a tripping hazard.  There is a neatness factor.  The excess wire lengths have to be coiled and arranged properly to give the setup a professional appearance.  For some reason, I find it very difficult to visualize what is needed—which wires best go in different locations for the best fit.  Also, the strips just don’t want to stay put when I attempt to Velcro them to the table legs.  When I try to tape down the wires, rather than getting a neat and straight run, mine tend to wander and the tape is crinkled rather than smooth.  So what do I do when faced with this situation?  I remember what my father said, “Do the best you can do, and that’s all you can do.”  So my technique is to be a helper rather than a leader.  I hold the wire straight along the floor so that another better adept at taping can do that.  I help set out the wires and strips at various tables.  I bring in a projector for presentations and the screen.  Finally, I hope that 5 o’clock will come soon—my quitting time.  I hope that no one will notice my ineptitude, and if they should will say “Well, he’s doing his best.”  Sometimes that’s the most I can hope for.

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