34: The Reset Button

34: The Reset Button

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Happiness

The Reset Button

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

~Winston Churchill

My co-worker Jan lives in an electric wheelchair. A few years back, a public bus door grabbed her left leg and wouldn’t let go. She lost her leg above the knee and her life changed dramatically. As long as I have worked with her, I have had a hard time understanding how she keeps such a good attitude given what has happened to her and how inconvenient her life is now.

But life goes on. Jan is finishing her college degree now, one class at a time.

One particularly stressful day we were working together in customer service. Jan usually runs the bestseller book division at our store. She has a crack memory and is very good at customer service and details. People love to work with her.

But the customers this day could not be satisfied. Finally when there was a lull in the complaints, Jan said she would be gone for a few minutes. “Is it finally time for a break?” I teased her, knowing it was hours past that.

“No,” said Jan. “It is time for the reset button.” She zoomed off in her electric wheelchair. I didn’t recall seeing any reset button on her chair.

It wasn’t very long and Jan was back with a smile on her face. Noticing my puzzled look, she asked what I was thinking.

“Well, you said you were going to use the reset button. You came back with a smile on your face, like things have changed.”

Jan had a laugh like a fairy. You could hear it ring all over the store. My question had certainly amused her.

“The reset button is my way of saying that I need to stop to reassess things, count my blessings and realize I have a lot to be grateful for. I needed to adjust my attitude to reality, not just a few hours this morning that were miserable. It makes life go much better.”

Working with Jan is a blessing for me, even in stressful times.

Jan zoomed in closer to where I was standing and spoke in a low voice. “You know,” she said, “it’s lucky the reset button never sticks, because some days I have to use it a lot!” With that she zoomed back to her desk laughing.

~Pamela Gilsenan

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