Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Days Like This

Remember the old song, “Mama said there’d be days like this?” I had one of those days this past week.

I created two new scripts for my PathPositives affirmation series. Weight Loss and Exercise Motivation are the two new products. I was very excited to get them recorded, packaged and added to my online store.

Each and every time I work on this project, I learn new things about how to do the process a little more efficiently and with higher quality.

It is important for me to write down my learning because if I don’t… well, I have to ‘relearn’ things over and over again.

I had forgotten that I need to feed jewel case (CD) insert cards into my color laser printer one at a time in order for them to print properly. If I put a stack of these cards into the paper feed, for some reason they get pulled through a little ‘off’ and the printing is crooked or otherwise misaligned. It is extremely frustrating, as it makes the printing process much more labor intensive.

I had printed around 30 jewel case cards and was ready to start constructing the CD cases, when I realized that I had an alignment problem. The titles of the product on the spine of the CD cases were crooked and in some cases chopped off completely! I was so disappointed.

As I examined the 30 cards to see if any of them were usable, I was horrified to discover that PathPositives was spelled incorrectly on the spine of the card I was looking at! I checked the other spine (on the other side of the CD) and found it was wrong too! My heart skipped a beat. I went on to discover that this error existed in every single one of my 17 products! Every product I’ve ever packaged had this error in the packaging!

The text on the spine of the CDs is tiny and very hard to see and read. The error is not that noticeable. It’s taken me all this time to find it!!

I have a large inventory of CDs all packaged and shrink wrapped. To ‘redo’ all of that work would be expensive and extremely time consuming. The perfectionist in me was really freaking out, but I decided that I would not reprint and repackage my entire inventory.

I did reprint the 30 cards I had just created, and fixed the error in all my other files. From now on all new printings will be correct.

Although I was frustrated by this entire experience and more than a little embarrassed that I could have looked at these things for months on end and never caught the error, I must say that overall I’m pleased with my reaction. There was a time in my past, not so long ago, where such an error would have sent me into a definite fit!

I remember a time working for a large software company when I realized that we were about to send out a beta (test) version of our product to about 10,000 people, and my piece of the product had a giant bug in it. I literally had a small panic attack and had to leave work. I was devastated that I could make such a mistake. It cut me to the core of my being. My identity was very wrapped up in my job performance, and this was a direct threat to my sense of self. All of that is very very unhealthy, by the way!

This latest discovery helped me see how far I’ve actually come. Instead of spending a lot of energy being upset, beating myself up and lamenting my fate… I simply recognized the error, made a decision about how to best address it, and quickly implemented my fix. Wow. How much better does that feel?

I think that’s what life is all about: learning to handle our life experiences with more peace and greater composure. Life happens. We don’t always have control of what comes our way. Our only choice is in how we respond to it.

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