Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)
TITLE: My Misfortune
By Misti Chancellor
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I am not one to draw attention to myself in most situations. On the job, I have been a bit reluctant to get up in front of people to speak at meetings and such, but as I've become more comfortable with the people, I've improved in that regard. In class, most of the time I'm the quiet one at the back of the room that has to be told to speak up when called upon to answer a question. I've been working on that, and have a time or two boldly spoken up and given the answer to a question. I am exceedingly grateful for the teachers who accept the answer and move on. This week, I wasn't so fortunate.
The professor in my Production and Operations Management class tries very hard to make the material interesting. Several times, he has reinforced the material through activities and games. The most recent of these was a game illustrating how processes work and how to improve them. The class was split into four groups of four, and each person in the group was given a number. Each number had a set of tasks associated with it, with the overall goal being to unscramble 25 jumbles and give the associated proverb within the jumble, in five minutes or less. An added restriction for the first round was that there was to be no communication between individuals. At the end of the first round, every group had completed a maximum of two jumbles. After a short interlude to document the process from the first round, perform analysis regarding the cause of the poor performance and a re-design of the process, we were given a different set of 25 jumbles to unscramble. This time, we did much better, and the group I was part of completed 10 jumbles, outdistancing the closest competition by 2.5 jumbles.
I'm a firm believer in team-work, but a large part of our success was, whether fortunately or unfortunately, due to me. I almost blush to mention it, because it sounds rather braggadocios, but it's true. On several of the cards, I was able to just look at the scrambled words and figure out the proverb. There were others where my teammates deciphered a word or two and I was able to get the proverb. It appears that of the people on my team, I apparently had heard or read the most proverbs, which contributed greatly to our success. Yes, it was OUR success. I would in no way have completed that many alone.
At the end of the five minute time limit, our completed work product was delivered to our "external customer" (aka the professor). Upon tallying the scores, he indicated that in most cases, whichever process produced the greatest output would typically be the one that the rest of the company would use, if possible. My teammates were amazed by the proverbs I had known and quite the to-do was being made over it. That's when my "misfortune" kicked in. Upon noticing my instant sunburn, the professor proceeded to do as others have done and point it out to everyone, which only serves to deepen the redness. Before it was all said and done, I was hiding my face behind my hands, and, though glad to have been successful in aiding my team, hoping the rest of the class time would speed by so I could leave.
Yes, I have the misfortune of having a fair complexion, but since that's the complexion God gave me, I'll just have to be thankful for it... and let it shine.
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