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Several years ago as a senior engineer on the single engines, I'd be seen storming into my supervisors office to tell him, "Okay sorry BAD NEWS, I told you my config instructions were released but I just got a call from filing group and they're all angry that I used the version of the form with the page numbers on the LEFT SIDE when they updated it last month to have the numbers on the RIGHT SIDE, they're really upset and cc-ing you on an email about how I used the wrong form so I probably got the the entire team in trouble."

And he'd look up and ask, "Is it going to make the airplanes fall out of the sky?"

And I'd say, "Uh... nope."

And he'd reply, "Reply back and say we'll do it correctly next time, thanks for the pointer, ask if there's anything else the new form asks that they need us to send. I'm not going to respond."

He asked this question for every sort of bureaucratic crisis and gradually I got into this habit of working it into all areas of life, not just work. Is my kid's library book late because we forgot that library day is thursday? are we out of bread and having to use hot dog buns for toast? did I open the resealable cheese bag wrong so now there's a gap between the zip-lock part and the bag part so it's not really resealable?

life goes on, aka don't sweat the small stuff, aka...

airplanes are not falling out of the sky.



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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 19th, 2016 11:32 pm (UTC)
After we saw the movie Pushing Tin, we have ever since said "lots of space in the sky, airplanes aren't gonna collide" whenever we have a kind of overwhelming project coming up.
Mar. 20th, 2016 01:42 am (UTC)
I love that movie.
Mar. 20th, 2016 12:14 am (UTC)
Perspective like this is a great thing to have... and for one's boss to have!
Mar. 20th, 2016 12:49 am (UTC)
At the blood bank we used to say "Shit happens. Nobody died." Everything was okay.
Mar. 20th, 2016 03:02 am (UTC)
People need to remember this.

My list of questions living with two rambunctious boys is as follows:

Is anyone hurt or anything broken?

If it is broken can it be fixed?

If it can't be fixed can we live with it as-is or replace it?
Mar. 20th, 2016 07:29 am (UTC)

The first time I prepared a financial statement for a small entity on my own, cash came out OMIGOD negative. At dinner that night I moaned and whined: I was a failure as an accountant. My son, who was having dinner with us, was a mechanic. He could only take so much. "If I replace brakes incorrectly and they fail, I could kill someone." Ever since...and this was years ago...something minor goes wrong, I think, "Is this going to kill anybody?" Perspective!

Mar. 20th, 2016 08:18 am (UTC)
Good approach.
I also had to learn that this is the way to deal with my own mistakes. Put them in perspective, and think about what really matters.
Mar. 20th, 2016 12:30 pm (UTC)
I like this. It's such an appropriate response and applies in so many situations.

I think that this is going to join the other mantra that I lean on when I have to remember not to get involved in other people's drama of "not my circus not my monkeys".
Mar. 20th, 2016 01:17 pm (UTC)
Hot dog bun toast (especially garlic toast with cheese) is great.

And, what a healthy mental habit to have :)
Mar. 20th, 2016 05:00 pm (UTC)
I love this advice.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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