Every Dream Has Its Imperfections

Holly J. Culhane SPHR
April 3, 2008 — 1,847 views  
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Everyone has his or her own idea of the “perfect” home. Likewise, everyone has a personal idea of the “perfect” job. Both of these are extremely individualistic with each person suiting his or her idea of “perfection” to one’s own unique tastes. If you ask 25 different people, you will most likely receive 25 diverse replies to either one or both of these queries. But, not to worry! Diversity is good; it makes life interesting! It also ensures that every type of home has a buyer, and similarly, every job opening has an applicant wanting to start work. So, have you ever actually lived in the “perfect” home? And if you answer “yes” to this question, then the next one would be: Has it always been perfect – every single minute of every single day? Unless you’re delusional, the answer would have to be “no.” Why? Because in life, things happen and sometimes those “things” life throws at you are not always pleasant. A friend of mine found the “perfect” home about six months ago. She says when the realtor unlocked the house and she walked in the door for the very first time, she “knew” this was the house. As she walked from room to room and through the grounds, she was even more convinced that this was the place for her. It was not a new home, but was in “perfect” condition and even sported her favorite color of carpet throughout the premises. After purchasing and moving into the house, she felt she had truly “come home.” Okay, sound good so far? Well, like all “perfection,” little flaws became apparent. One of bathroom toilets malfunctioned and had to be repaired. A couple of the light fixtures had “shorts.” Then, a number of the “perfect” plants in the “perfect” yard suddenly became ill, withered and died. Okay, so all of these are typical problems one deals with when living in a house. The latest issue occurred last week. She was awakened at 1:00 a.m. by a kitten crying. She got up and looked through the house wondering how in the world a cat could have gotten inside. She finally traced the sound to the kitchen. After opening all the cabinets and drawers, she discovered that the sound was coming from inside the exhaust vent over the stove. She managed to get the screen off the hood over the stove and, using the end of a wooden spoon, was able to slightly move the cover above the exhaust fan blades. To her amazement, there was indeed a cat in there! Obviously, there wasn’t much she could do right then. (My friend is in her mid-fifties, lives alone, and has neither the tools nor the inclination to take her exhaust hood apart.) The next day she had a friend take the hood apart and rescue the (as it turned out to be) approximately three-week-old kitten. She was relieved until the next evening, when once again she heard a meowing coming from above the stove! However, this time it wasn’t directly above the vent. Again, she had someone come over, climb up on the roof and investigate. It was discovered that indeed, another kitten was in the exhaust pipe. However, this one had not fallen all the way to the bottom, but was about halfway down, perched at the edge of a wooden ledge that apparently went to the attic. When they tried to get the kitten out with a makeshift net bag/flexible wire contraption, the kitten crawled further into the attic, out of sight. My friend was told the only way to rescue the kitten was to tear up a portion of the roof and dismantle the exhaust fan, thereby incurring considerable damage and subsequent substantial repair costs. If not, the kitten would probably die and the house could very well be unlivable for a time due to a most unpleasant odor! So far, she is simply waiting, hoping that the cat will either fall into the vent or somehow figure a way out of the attic. The saga continues… When asked if she still viewed her new home as the “perfect” place, my friend answered a resounding. “Yes!” She explained that she expects things to happen because that’s the way life is, but it in no way changes her feelings about the house. And it certainly makes life interesting! It’s important that employees also realize that every job has its unpleasant tasks; that’s the way life (and the workplace) is. They should not become discouraged just because they have a “bad” day or encounter a particularly unpleasant customer. Even “perfect” jobs have their drawbacks and challenges are a normal condition of any profession. Additionally, just as my friend with her unexpected attic cat, some things simply happen and we have no control over them. The best we can do is assess the situation and handle it the best we can, seeking advice and assistance from colleagues, as necessary. A doctor I know of was recently asked if he still enjoys his field of medicine with all the new rules, malpractice suits, etc. He thought for a minute and then said, “Absolutely.” He further explained that the way he sees it, “every job has its bedpan.” I realized that he was simply stating what I already know to be true, that there is no such thing as “perfection” in a house, a job, a person, or anything else. You take the bad with the good and understand that there will always be challenges and some days will be more difficult than others. However, as a wise person once said, “The key to happiness is not to do what you like, but to like what you do.”

Holly J. Culhane SPHR


Identified the need for human resource and organizational assistance for small- and medium-sized business­es and formed Profes­sional Administra­tive Systems in 1987. Now known as P A S Associates, this firm combines specialists in the fields of human resources, labor and employment law, affirma­tive action, and substance abuse policies and education, providing an unsurpassed Human Resource Center.