Friday, October 14, 2011

Today's fortune: October 14, 2011

Today's fortune: You are generous to an extreme and always think of the other fellow.

Not just the fellows, but the ladies too, know what I'm sayin'?

This is gonna sound vain, but I think this fortune is true - I am a generous person and I do make great effort to think of others. The best example of this is work. At Acme Co., we're encouraged to help others as long as we're keeping a good handle on our own widgets, too. And every single day, if I have free time, I ask my supervisor and my co-workers if anyone needs help.

Because of my generosity, I've recently been asked to serve as a full-time helper of sorts. My title is "team coach," but really I serve as a fill-in. I'm given a reduced amount of widgets each day, and with my free time my job is to fill in for people who are sick or on vacation, or to help out people who are struggling with their widget inventory. It's a good position for me, and I've been able to help a lot of people. For example, today I was able to work on claims for three other co-workers in addition to my own claims.

As a widget maker who has been working on the floor since January, I'm now one of the more experienced people around. In fact, I sit near five co-workers who have less experience than I do and who frequently come to me for questions or help.

Of course, just like all of us, I've been burned by generosity, too. I'm thinking specifically of the time I loaned a lawn mower to a neighbor. He said, "I'm getting a new one next week, I just need it this once, and I'll pay you back for the gas." I told him not to worry about the gas and directed him to my shed. The next week he came back. I don't know what happened to his new lawn mower, but he asked to borrow mine again. And again, he promised to pay for gas. I shrugged that part off, but less heartily this time. This process repeated itself for a few weeks, with a promise of repayment for gas each time, and by the end I wasn't saying no to his offer of reimbursement.

Then one day I walked to the shed planning to cut my own grass, and I discovered my neighbor had broken my lawn mower and had failed to inform me of it. I was able to rig it together for a little while, but eventually I had to buy a new mower.

The guy had the audacity to return the next week and ask to borrow the mower again! I very shortly reminded him he had broken the mower and I wasn't going to be able to loan it to him again. He apologized and said he would bring over some money for all the gas he'd used. That was a few years ago, the neighbor has moved away now, and of course I've never seen a dime of that money.

The incident didn't make me less willing to be generous, however - it just made me less willing to be generous to THAT guy. I'm still happy to help out a neighbor, even my neighbors at work, and I think generosity breeds a happiness of spirit that can't be replaced.

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