A Realization

Jimmy - Albany, Georgia
Entered on August 14, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

A REALIZATION:

I am a Human Resource Manager. My job is to solve problems — people problems; or so I thought.

One day I looked up from my desk to see the troubled, angry face of a young lady standing in my doorway. Upon making eye contact, she quickly marched into my office, slammed the door, sat down and began talking …. and talking ….and talking. A flood of words and emotions poured forth, as if a dam had broken. She complained about the company, she complained about her co-workers. She told me everything that was wrong with her supervisor; she told me everything that was wrong with me. Without slowing down or taking a breath, she then told me about the problems she was having with her husband and all of the problems that she was having with her kids.

Finally she stopped. I collected my thoughts and prepared to offer her my advice. Before I could open my mouth, she suddenly stood up and extended her hand. As I shook hands with her she said to me, “I know that you can’t really do anything about all my problems, but thanks for listening.” With a smile, she spun around, opened the door and returned to work.

I sat there stunned and amazed. Prior to this experience, it had never occurred to me that sometimes people are not looking for a problem solver; they just want someone to listen. On that day, in that office, I came to the realization that there are times when listening is enough. This I believe!