Sunday, September 05, 2010

Time Out

In my line of business you meet a lot of people who are still in the process of developing coping mechanisms. They haven’t quite worked out how to deal with stressful situations where people rub them up the wrong way.

A few years ago, the management introduced “time out” cards. They were either pink or blue, not depending on whether the stressed out person was male or female, but perhaps to do with who issued them, or what the nature of the stress was all about, or how long a person handing one over could absent themselves - I have forgotten. I hadn’t seen one being flourished in a while – until Friday.

I am ill-equipped to make a decision on who should or shouldn’t have a time out card. I see folk for such short periods of time. Even so, I wonder if there are people who milk the system. Are there individuals who are not really that stressed out, they are not really on the brink of exploding, or imploding. Take my Friday encounter – the person got a telling off for unacceptable behaviour. Out came the card and he left the room. Was he stressed out? He didn’t look like it. I admit that I am no psychiatrist – not all clues to a person’s mental state are visible.

I am not saying that every time out card wielder is playing the system. There needs to be something in place to help people deal with very stressful situations where some are clearly not equipped to deal with it.

One person for sure who was becoming clearly stressed out was me. Where is my time out card? The fuse can sometimes be a short one.

“I am your time out card, Mel!”

I have not been issued with a blue or a pink card that entitles me to leave the room when my coping mechanisms are about to grind to a halt. I have the indwelling Spirit of the living God present within.

Neither is it about “time out” – separating myself from whatever is causing me distress. It is a “time in” card – a time when I should be inviting God into the situation and learning on the spot to access and use the resources that He has made available.

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