Be the Change You Want to See


It was a rainy day in NYC. A day where a warm blanket and soft bed are difficult to part ways with and a cup of coffee is necessary to make it through the day.

Mistake #1, I woke up later than usual and had to rush out the house. Mistake #2 I didn't have any breakfast. Mistake #3 i didn't have my morning coffee.

I wasn't as worried about mistake #2 and #3 because it was an applicant day and applicant day=free breakfast and coffee. So we all made our way to the conference room for our daily educational patient conference in hopes that there would be lovely applicants and coffee to greet us. But we were sadly mistaken.

Today was not an interview day, there was no breakfast, and worse off there was NO COFFEE! We all panicked and made our way down to the cafeteria that was in a whole different building with only a few minutes to spare before the conference started.

En route to the cafeteria, we scuffled through the lobby, so quickly that one of my co-workers almost slipped on a puddle of water that was leaking from the ceiling. There were other areas in the lobby that had caution signs, but this particular area did not. My first instinct was to continue rushing to the cafeteria to grab my coffee and breakfast. But then I thought about all the people passing through the lobby, some people who were ill and fragile and could not afford to fall on the hard lobby floor. Someone else must have slipped on the puddle already and reported it to security, I thought to myself. But what if they didn't? Would someone have to fall and hurt themselves for it to be noticed?

I couldn't take that chance. So I took a detour, and went down to the security desk and informed the security officer of the puddle. He reassured me that someone had reported it already and environmental services was coming to take care of it. But that wasn't a good enough answer for me, because in the mean time, someone could fall and hurt them selves. I looked over at the carpeted floor need the entrance and the yellow caution sign that sat so temptingly near the walk way. I explained to the security guard that I was going to use the sign for the puddle and he agreed that that was a great idea. So I snatched it up and ran up the stairs to save the day! He was very grateful that I had used quick thinking and initiative to fix a problem that could have huge repercussions for everyone.

In that brief 5 minutes, I learned to be the change you want to see. Especially in light of our recent political climate, it is important that we are proactive, that we anticipate issues that may arise, and brainstorm ways to fix them. And then to take it a step further and take that extra step and go that extra mile and not rely on the notion that someone else will handle it.

Who knows how many people avoided that puddle because of that sign. And even though I forgot to buy coffee and was late to the conference, I'm hoping my small gesture saved someone from falling.


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