Whattya gonna do.....

My mantra for life when things don't go as planned is "Whattya gonna do". It's really more of a rhetorical question than a literal one. Not to be confused with the theme song from the show about bad cops. And I owe it to a lovely little lady that I was fortunate enough to cross paths with at work about a year-and-a-half ago.

She was a smallish, nicely dressed, eighty-something woman who
was originally from France, so I was taken with her accent right away. When I say she was nicely-dressed, I don't mean in a stuffy kind of way. No furs or anything like that, but no jeans, sweats, or pajamas. And she was well groomed. Anyway, she was wanting to redecorate her dining room and living room in a blue toile wallpaper and fabric. Being fond of the toile prints myself, that made me like her even more. But what really made me appreciate her was her "oh, well" kind of attitude.

Now this was a woman who had lived an interesting life. She recounted working for a company in the 50's, as I recall, that built computers. She was some type of supervisor. This was inspiring to me, realizing that it was long before women's lib or before computers were hardly even heard of. She was proud of what she had done and it showed. The job ended either because the computer they were working on became obsolete (imagine that) or because she was a woman working in a man's field, sadly. I wish I could remember which reason it was, but I thought that she certainly had the right to be more bitter about it than she was. Then again, it was 50 years ago or so. It wouldn't be a good thing to carry around any type of bitterness for that long or it might literally kill you.

Her "oh, well" attitude showed up after we found a fabric and wallpaper that she liked, and she placed an order. I was very glad to get the order, as it was a nice one for 20 yards of fabric and 24 rolls of wallpaper. As luck would have it, the wallpaper had been recently discontinued by the manufacturer and we couldn't get it for her. I wasn't very happy when they told me this and dreaded telling her about it. Before I called her to break the news, I went through all of our books and found a couple of good options for her, fully expecting to lose this wonderful sale. Well, she took the news much better than I expected and explained to me that it really wasn't that big of a deal to her and said, "Well, whattya gonna do?" Not in an angry tone, but instead in a nonchalant, "we'll make it work" kind of tone. I was blown away. Having worked
retail for 25+ years, I've got to say that it's rare to see that good of an attitude when things didn't go exactly as planned. She chose one of the other patterns even though it wasn't a "perfect" match, and was very happy with the completed job. If only there were more people out there like her who didn't get upset by the things they can't control, the world would be a much less frazzled place.

So, the next time things don't go absolutely perfect for a project or for life in general, just say, "Whattya gonna do." In the grand scheme of things, it probably didn't matter all that much anyway.

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