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Running In Place

When it comes to work, some people do just what they need to, others perform over and above the call of duty and still others don’t bother stepping up to the plate at all. I noticed this recently when I dropped my car off for an unexpected repair and walked the three miles home in snow.

I estimated that I would be home in 45 minutes, or just as the sun was setting. Normally a three-mile walk is nothing for me: my walking buddy, Betsy, and I often walk up to 14 miles. But less than a third of the way home, I realized I may have over estimated my ability to make it home on time. At times I felt I was running in place, but I trudged on.

I couldn’t help but notice the difference in how the many households cleared their driveways and walkways of snow. Where I live, homeowners are responsible for clearing their sidewalks within 12 hours of a storm. It hadn’t snowed in a few days, so all walkways should have been clear.

The differences in households were dramatic. Some homeowners didn’t bother to shovel at all, forcing me to walk in the street. Others cleared moderately, with clear patches intermixed with ice. I tread carefully on those sidewalks. Most houses had a clear path, which ended at the end of their property line, where I’d have to navigate around a huge pile of snow.

Then there were homes where owners not only cleared the sidewalk but also removed piles of snow at the end of their property or cleared through to the street if they were on a corner. Those folks helped me make it home by sunset.

My walk made me think about how people perform their jobs at work. Are you doing just what you need to and no more? Or are you someone one who performs over and above the call of duty? Does our current economy dictate that people work smarter and harder — or is everybody just running in place hoping to make it home by sunset?

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