Dealing with stress: The Orange Theory way!
Mr. Brown worked as a supervisor for the production department in a leather factory . He was a diligent worker , always on time , perfectionist in his work and known for his relaxed and calm demeanor. His co workers loved working with him since he was always warm and respectful. All was going well when suddenly the markets crashed and the company started facing major losses.
Their biggest clients closed their accounts one by one and it seemed impertinent that the factory would soon close down until some large scale measures were not taken. The Management decided to go into major cost cutting and asked its human resource department to cut down at least 500 employees in the next 2 months.
Despite his good track record and 15 loyal years with the company Mr. Brown was selected as one of the employees to be fired in the first batch . There was major unrest among all the employees and all those who got to know about their dismissal, queued up in front of the managements office to protest, shouting abusive slogans. Workers stopped working in their lines and spent their last days declining any work.
The news went around like wild fire and in no time Mr. Brown got to know of the management’s plan. He was at that point working on a large order that was nearing its completion. It was a large order and required Mr. Brown and his team to work double shift, late into the night for several days before the order could finally be dispatched.
On the second night, during a coffee break, a friend and colleague of Mr. Brown saw him working late and walked up to him, he placed his hand on his shoulder and surprisingly asked him, “ Don’t you know you are going to be laid off soon , just after the completion of the order”. Mr. Brown smiled and nodded. “Then why are you burning the midnight oil here, go sleep, nobody cares anyway”.
Mr Brown just smiled and went on to finish his left over job. He continued to work late into the nights for 3 weeks before the order was finally completed. The next day , he received a letter from the H.R department, announcing his dismissal. Mr. Brown quietly picked his stuff, neatly arranged it in a box and went to the Directors Room.
The director was a little uncomfortable at seeing him, he knew what would be coming, Mr Brown would call him names, demand an explanation and he had no answers. Instead Mr Brown took a small paper from his box and handed it to the director.
The director was surprised as he read the paper. It was a Thank you note for being a supportive and wonderful Boss and talked of all the good times they had shared working together. Mr. Brown gave similar Thank you notes to his other colleagues and co workers before leaving.
That evening when he returned home he called all family members in the living room and announced his dismissal.
His wife and son were full of anger, they wanted to sue the company for removing him from service for no good reason but Mr. brown refused to do so. He just said,”They are going through bad times, I am sure it was a tough decision for them as well.”. His family was aghast and annoyed at his weak decision.
A few months later , Mr. Brown received a letter from his company. It seemed that the markets had revived and the factory had gone back again into full operations. It was an offer for Mr. Brown to join back but with promotions and a double package.
The day he joined back, the director who had last seen him saw him at the canteen , walked up to him and asked,
“Mr. Brown, when every body was infuriated and talking bad about the management , you had no resentment or anger towards anyone.
How come?” Mr. brown, opened his lunch box and took out an orange .
He smiled as he offered it to the director. “Because, I preferred to be an orange , he replied”.
Seeing the quizzical look on the director’s face, he gave one of his warmest smiles and asked….
“Why is it that when you squeeze an orange you get orange juice and not lemon juice?”
The director irritated at the stupid question but still very curious answered “Because its an orange and that is what is inside it”.
“What if you squeeze it a little more”, Mr. Brown asked further.
“It will still be orange juice coming out” , answered the director by now slightly annoyed.
Mr. Brown calmly smiled and said, “yes and my gratitude and warmth were what came out of me when I was squeezed because that’s what is inside me.”
Moral: Life will suppress you , hurt you, push you and bang you. People and situations will work against you and call you bad names but what comes out of you as a response to these problems will represent who you truly are and what’s inside you. Be an Orange!
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