If you lived in the 1970’s then you will understand the humor in the story I’m telling you.  Nixon was the President and the scandal called Watergate was in the news every day.

Mom and Dad gave me a cassette tape recorder for my birthday one year.  It was a fun toy and I used it to record music off the radio and my friend Linda Brumbaugh and I used to do funny little “interviews” with each other.  As I got older though, I outgrew the need for it.

I started at Wichita State in the fall of 1979.  I still lived with my parents and helped them out as much as I could.  My studies took priority and between them, my part-time job on campus and teaching over 20 piano lessons a week, I was pretty busy.   One day I walked into the house and saw the funniest sight!  Mama was “dealing” with a pesky telemarketer!

She was arguing with the person and trying to nicely explain that she was not interested in whatever was being pushed down her throat.  This went on for a few minutes.  Then mama took the little portable cassette player and calmly set it up on the phone stand.  She gently said, “Hold please” and put the receiver of the phone right next to the speaker of the cassette player.  Then she pressed the PLAY button and played one of the recordings I had made years ago!

Had she done it to some poor soul before?  I don’t know, but she did it like it was not a brand new idea to her.  She came into the living room, sat on the couch and asked me how my day went.  She didn’t mention the fact that she had just put a poor unsuspecting telemarketer (just trying to make a living) on perpetual HOLD.

Of course today we have no-call lists for which I’m thankful.  I will never forget the day I walked in to see mama putting the telemarketer on hold.   Wink!   😉



To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.  – Reba McEntire

If you’re going to go to work every day, wouldn’t it behoove you to make it as pleasant as possible?  Think about how much time you spend working.  You are at your job more hours than you are at home if you work full-time.  Of course to find full-time employment these days is almost a novelty, but we won’t discuss that today.

Are you miserable at work?  Does it leave you less than fulfilled?  It can be a great temptation to hop from job to job, but it is possible to make your work environment better.  I didn’t say it’s easy – I said it’s possible. 

How can you make things better in the workplace?

  • PRAY a quick prayer to the Father.  It’s amazing how God will lead you as you begin conversations in the workplace.  His wisdom trumps your intuition every time.
  • SMILE the next time you make eye contact with a co-worker.  As Mother Teresa said: “We’ll never know the good that a simple smile can do”.
  • LEAVE NEGATIVITY AT THE DOOR and shake it off before walking into the office.  Nobody wants to hear that your battery went flat in front of the gas pump this morning and AAA brought you to work.
  • HANG ON TO A BIBLE VERSE because God is the only one who can help you be the shining beacon you need to be in this dark world.  My favorite verse is Psalm 56:3 WHAT TIME I AM AFRAID I WILL TRUST IN THEE.
  • LOVE TRIUMPHS OVER JUDGMENT especially in the diverse environment of the workplace.  We are Christians and have our personal beliefs, but all we can do is live the life in front of others, we can’t change anyone – that’s God’s job.  We love – it’s part of being in the world but not of it.
  • BE SENSITIVE to the vibes coming from co-workers.  Everyone has moods and if someone snaps at you, don’t take it personally.  Maybe their battery went flat in front of the gas pump this morning too.  Forgive quickly.
  • BE PROFESSIONAL but not aloof.  It’s okay to be human, but don’t wear your feelings or your lunch on your sleeve.
  • BE PLEASANT in your attitude, your manner, your tone of voice and don’t get caught up in any office gossip.  Remember if a co-worker will talk to you about someone else, they will talk about you to someone else.  Gossip is poison in the workplace – stay away from it.

Life’s too short to be miserable. If others can have fun at work, so can I!   🙂