Get Along Go

If you want to get along, go along – Sam Rayburn

When I am short of time, I quickly choose the first quote which seems simple and easily explained. I don’t have to write pages. This is my outburst, I can do what I like. What on earth could I expand on this with?

The main premise of this I believe is that in order to build relationships you have to spend time with people. Seems obvious really. When I first read it, I thought of my work colleagues. We work in a unique place where the thing everyone seems to love most about working there is the relationships we form. It is full of the nicest people! My theory on that (and of course I have one) is that everyone is inherently nice. People are wonderful! No one thinks of themselves as not being a good person. No one, not even that unbelievably cranky woman you may have come across at x, y and z. We can all be that cranky person. I behave badly sometimes and hopefully I see it, can work out why I behaved badly, forgive myself, apologise to the person involved, forget it and move on. What makes us into not nice people temporarily, and behave badly, is being under pressure and feeling insecure about it. It can be from the outside – a demanding boss,  or it can be internally – I must make this perfect cake for my daughter’s birthday before morning. Silly pressure. Anyway, the company I work for give us time and space to be nice people. They create ways for us to mingle and form these relationships. They value the niceness and say that they employ primarily by personality and fit with the culture and then look at work skills. This culture means that as we like each other we socialise outside work also.

Unfortunately this is where I can come unstuck. I am uncomfortable driving to new places. My satellite navigation system helps for the most part but can also get things wrong and the stress really builds. This means that sometimes when my fellow customer service team go to trivia nights in far away places, I tend not to go. By not going along, I can’t join in the fun chat about it the next day. I love them all and have know them for 3 years, but those little extra bonds are formed without me.

How easy is it for us to agree to go somewhere and do something and then on the day feel lazy or tired or blah and bail out? Actually this is something I rarely do now, if ever! I have seen it over and over again where the person creating the event goes to so much time and effort to ‘give’, in order that we receive and enjoy.  If you might be feeling too unmotivated to show up on that day, imagine the host not being in the mood either but having to do all the work anyway!!

When I was in my early 20s, a lovely girl I met invited me to a lunch party. I had no car and was stressed about getting there and called to make my excuses. As I cannot lie (guilt, blushing etc etc) I said i just wasn’t up to it and she quite rightly persuaded me to pull my head in and come. So I went along! Not only had she created this amazing gourmet feast (I had no idea anyone in their early 20s was so generous, talented and motivated) but she had decorated her whole house.  Only about 6 people showed up! We felt bad for her but we made up for it by having a ball and staying till very late. I even met my next boyfriend there. I went along and I got along. Relationships can also be ruined by now showing up.

My conclusion is that if you really have no excuse but laziness, nine times out of ten you should show up to whatever it is – a play, outing, picnic. It will certainly help you get along with the host and form new relationships by actually being face to face with the people you meet there. How much is learned from smiles, body language etc that you just can’t see on a phone call, email, text or some other form of social media?

Anyway I digress. This expression could also refer to something else. Get along might mean get along in life, get promoted etc, not get along with people. I imagine it works that way also of course. I am sure many employees will lose half their weekend to golf with the boss or some such activity in the name of promotion. Just doing your work isn’t all that’s required of most jobs now because we work best as teams. We cannot work in isolation. The result is greater than the sum of its parts etc etc. Goodness, a few more quotes popped into my mind just then on that subject. Do I live by quotes now? Why do I remember so many? Probably because they can put into a few words what I take 3 pages to explain 🙂

Anyway, what I am coming to learn from today’s outburst is the importance of socialising; of actually being in the same space and interacting with other people. Especially your kids. And it’s lovely to socialise with your work colleagues. It takes trust to let others know the real us, but if we did, we would have more tolerance for each other when small flare ups inevitably occur as a result of work pressure.

Once we start to accept everyone we work with, well everyone we meet in fact, as the complete package and probably more like us, simply by dint of being human beings, this ‘getting along’ could take us a long, long way.  Sting sang back in the 80’s ‘Don’t the Russians love their children too?’ – we are all essential the same. So go along and get along!