The other day, I was in one of our supermarkets when one of the employees had a fine meltdown in full view of everyone. A hush fell over the chatting patrons as he bitterly complained that after 44 years he was on his hands and knees cleaning up a spilled bottle of soda. He vented his spleen about the awful company he worked for, how miserable he was, how he despised his co-workers, and how he was outta there in January, when he could retire. The way he carried on, one would have thought he was performing one of the Labors of Hercules, scrubbing out the Augean Stables with a toothbrush. One of his co-workers tried to commiserate and comfort him, but to no avail, he was determined to create an emotional tsoda tsunami.
I've been shopping at this store for the nearly thirty years I've lived here in Bayport, and I see this man almost every time I go. In all that time, he has never said "hello," never asked if I needed help removing an item from the shelf above my 5'2" head, never exchanged a pleasantry. In the beginning, I attempted to greet him in a friendly manner, but he would grunt, frown or turn his head away. Some people just don't want to be pleasant. After awhile, if I saw him in the aisle, I would deliberately go in the opposite direction so as to have no contact with his terrible attitude.
Spending 44 years of your life doing a job you loathe? Awful. The saddest thing is that I can practically guarantee he will be no happier in retirement than he is now if he doesn't change his way of thinking.
I know how hard it is to work with the "public," I've had jobs in real estate and retail, I've been a receptionist and worked for a very nasty urologist way back when. Sometimes, you just want to be snowed in rather than spend one more day doing something you hate. And because my own life's work consists of helping sick people get well, I know counseling folks who are miserable, in pain and have bad attitudes can be a challenge. Emotional pain is sometimes even worse than the physical, since healing it is more difficult. A wound or the flu, those things are temporary. But hurting in your heart and mind is not such an easy fix.
The old saying "Love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life." Well, it's completely true. Having a profession I love has made a huge difference in my life. Don't ever let anyone tell you you can't do something.
When I was studying to become a Naturopath, I got a lot of negativity from people who didn't think I would succeed. In fact, one of them told me I would become a doctor "when pigs fly."
The day I received my N.D., my daughter Michelle, a talented artist, presented me with a wonderful painting she had created of a large pink pig, flying. It's on my office wall and it has inspired many a patient to keep on going. It inspires me to keep going as well.
The world has changed much in the last few years. Life is a lot more complex and difficult now. This stress can certainly grind down even the most cheerful disposition.
But there is help if you want it, and getting help to live a happier, more positive life is a step everyone should not fear taking.
Dr. O. Carl Simonton, M.D., of Malibu, California has worked with terminally ill cancer patients for over 40 years. He has proven in clinical trials that one's attitude has everything to do with beating the disease and staying alive. Why do you think we in Naturopathic practice are always harping on keeping a positive outlook? Because negativity isn't healthy. It sets up an environment in which cancer and other ills can thrive. Dwelling on angry thoughts is poisonous to your immune system. That's not to say that only grumpy, unpleasant people become ill or get cancer, but their negative thoughts work against their recovery. Filling your mind with happy and positive thoughts and images has a proven, healing effect.
If you would like more information on Dr. Simonton's "Patient Package" you can go to his web site, www.simontoncenter.com and click on"tapes and literature" or "bookstore". At $75, it's a priceless tool in the fight against cancer. Even if you don't have cancer, it can help you to lead a more satisfying life.
There are a lot worse things in life than mopping up spilled beverages, mopping up your spilled dreams for one.
You are endless possibilities, and I hope the unhappy man in aisle six will someday discover that so is he.
Dr. Kleine regrets she cannot give advice by phone or e-mail. For an appointment call 631.472.8139.