Not Giving Up

I can remember a period in my life when I was unemployed and money was running short. I needed a job very badly and it seemed as if no one was hiring.

A very good friend of mine approached me one day with an offer. "I'm going to have to let this job go and I was wondering if you would like to take it over?"

"That would be great," I replied.

I went to speak with the manager and he said he could use me, but never gave me a start date. Really needing the job, I made it a point to go and check in with him every day. I knew he would eventually get tired of me and give me a starting period. Finally one day he said, "You can start Monday morning."

Come Monday morning, I showed up for work extra early. I was ready to do my best. When I went inside I was informed that I would be buffing the floors. My friend was there to show me how to operate the buffer.

"It's real easy," he said, running the machine very smoothly.

He handed it over to me and said, "Here, you give it a try."

I grabbed the handles with a "no problem" attitude and gave it some gas. To my surprise, the buffer whipped around in a big circle, running over my friend's brand new pair of boots, and sending him jumping up on a check-out counter.

Several times, I tried to run it again and failed. I really had to fight that thing to make it go.

"What am I going to do?" I thought to myself. "I finally found a job and I can't do it. Am I going to have to tell them I have to quit?"

After several rough days of buffing, I finally made up my mind that I was going to do this. For about a week, I struggled with the buffer, putting all my weight and strength into it. Eventually, I learned the trick was not to struggle with it at all, just go with the flow of it, and by the second week, I was showing off and running it with one hand.

A few months later, I thought back and wondered what would have happened if I had given up that first week. I certainly would not have had the newfound confidence or a paycheck. Sometime after that experience, I started a new job that required the use of a buffer. I even had to train others to use it, and I always got a kick out of seeing them run it for the first time. I knew, though, if they stuck with it, they would do just fine; they just needed a little encouragement and a lot of practice.

Michael Jordan said, "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."

Kip Davis

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