I like to think of myself as someone who not only embraces change but seeks it out. I love a challenge or a new task that asks me to stretch or requires me to look at something in an entirely different way. I am a good travel and find the differences in people and locations to be invigorating and even fun. I even go to the hair salon and say “I need something different” and leave it in the hands of the stylist.
Recently I have had difficulties with my phone. I have had the same carrier since 2003 and the same phone, with a few model upgrades, for the same amount of time. I know how to use the phone and synchs nicely with calendars and other devices and I don’t have to think much about it – it just does what it is supposed to do.
However, in the last month I haven’t just dropped calls, but dropped calendar events, and that has had an impact far beyond my own reach. I haven’t showed up for things like interviews and meetings with people outside my own organization. I didn’t even know how unreliable I was because it wasn’t on my calendar. When it was brought to my attention I sought professional help, I called the technology people.
After much deliberation the final verdict was that for me to operate consistently within the organization’s technology system I needed to get a new phone. Now I heard this like I had to get an organ transplant and the possibility of rejection seemed very high to me. How could I learn to use a new phone with all the fancy bells and whistles they all had? How could I get my clumsy fingers to do that touch typing business? Would I be able to trust that it wouldn’t delete calendar events, even though I already knew that my current phone was not a trustworthy partner? This whole situation has been a great eye opener for me, and those around me who I claimed were not as open to change as I thought I was.
Change comes in several styles. There is the big stuff that has a bit of drama and glamour surrounding it, like travel and moving and career shifts, and we prepare or brace ourselves for this change. This change requires major shifts in thinking and even just being. Yet there is also the change that appears small and doesn’t require much in the way of preparation. But, because it has been a constant in our life, like a phone, it requires significant relearning and rethinking of how to use it after the event. It means that something we have learned to count on is no longer there and we have to learn to count on something or someone else maybe even in a different way.
I have learned a good lesson from my phone experience and will be a bit more understanding with those who don’t seem to be as open to change as I thought I was!