Lessons Learned from a Glass Guru
(part 2 of 3)
Last week, I began a 3-part series about my time spent with Sheldon, a glass technician for SafeLite AutoGlass Repair. (click here to read last week's article.) My time with him was short - although longer than either of us had expected due to the difficulty of my windshield's issues - but powerfully impactful.
As Sheldon worked, I witnessed utter perfectionism and a genuine desire to serve. He graciously cleaned my windows - all of them, not just the windshield. He vacuumed the floors of the front of the car - even though I told him he didn't need to because he hadn't made any mess at all. And, when the second hole didn't mend on the first try, he went a different route.
I admired his persistence and high level of integrity as he worked at the second hole. He could have left it as it was on his first attempt and I would have been none the wiser, especially if the cracks never spread. However, he was unhappy with the first attempt because it appeared several of the cracks had not accepted the resin and were not sealed. The danger of this was that I would run the risk of further crack-growth and face the possibility of having irreparable damage that would result in having to replace my windshield.
I held my breath as I watched him employ his own style of fixing the situation that, he claimed, was unlike anything any other technician would try. While I was immensely grateful that he was willing to go above and beyond to fix the craters in my windshield, I felt afraid as I watched his process. He glanced up at me and laughed.
"Maybe you need to breathe," my Glass Guru said.
"Oh yeah! That would be helpful," I said.
I laughed and began moving my body, coaching myself as if I were the client in one of my own sessions. He grinned and went back to work while I pondered the meaning of this experience and the reasons for calling it into my life.
The second attempt to seal the cracks didn't work either. With mounting frustration, he set up once again for his unique process. This time was not as traumatizing and I watched with fascination as he went through all the steps.
A few minutes later, as he proudly wiped down the window he said quietly, "Sometimes things don't work on the first try. Sometimes they don't even happen on the second try. But with persistence, the right tools and skills, and with my own tricks, I can get it to work. Eventually."
Yes. Sometimes things don't work on the first or second try. Sometimes they do work on the third try and sometimes you have to just keep trying until you succeed. At times, a microscopic shift in how you're approaching a project will be enough to bring it to fruition in the blink of an eye. At other times, it requires an entirely new approach to find success. The key is knowing when to shift slight or when to change your approach. Or, even, when it's time to throw in the towel and scrap the project all together because there is no hope of ever succeeding.
That last option is one of the most painful to look at, especially when time, energy and emotion has gone into whatever it is you've been working toward. But sometimes the healthiest approach is to really look at the truth of the situation, declare it complete and move on.
© Angie K. Millgate 07/09/10