I had a bit of a quandary today and it got me thinking about how important we think we are.
Today was my first day on jury service. I was picked for a case and then the jury were promptly dismissed and weren't needed back until midday tomorrow. This was late morning.
Do I go back to work or do I go home or do I go home and work?
Some of my colleagues remember their jury service as a 'good skive', 'boring' and 'lots of waiting around' and with these thoughts in my head, I weighed up the pros and cons of my three options.
I wasn't expected in to work and therefore wouldn't be missed. If I didn't go into work, who would know if I was to 'skive'?
But if I did go into work and carry on with the work I had planned to do in the jury assembly room during 'boring' and 'the lots of waiting around' bits, what were the chances of me actually getting anything done? Pretty slim, if I'm honest, because an extra bod is always useful during the busy lunch period and I would get caught up in all the little day to day emergencies.
But in reality, am I really that important? Will the department grind to a halt if I worked from home? Does that email enquiry have to be answered by me? Could somebody else sort out the problem in my absence? Am I really worth all that?
In the grand scheme of all things business, the answer to all of these questions has to be a resounding NO. But that doesn't stop us as humans having a high opinion of ourselves. It's human nature to want to be important, whether it's in our professional or personal life.
Our sense of self worth is what drive us, makes us ambitious, makes us strive to be the best we can be. Is it wrong to take pride in what you do? Is it wrong to be confident in your abilities? Is it wrong to have high self-esteem? I think the answer to these questions is again no, but I feel these things need to be tempered with humility and at time, a healthy dose of reality.
So with that in mind, I did go home and I did work, but at a less frantic pace, without any interruptions. I passed on several emails to my colleagues and I had a really productive afternoon and the world didn't stop!
So there! ;o)