One of the interesting catch phrases I learned while working as a civilian employee of the U.S. Army is “Semper Gumby,” which means, “Always Flexible.” It is used as a tongue-in-cheek war cry when something inexplicable occurs to necessitate an abrupt course adjustment or change in plans. I’ve learned that it is a very valuable personal philosophy for the workplace. As I go through the daily process of accomplishing my designated mission it has become clear to me that I must endeavor to remain flexible, if for nothing else to retain my own sanity. As I am presented with an especially challenging circumstance (or person), I find it comforting to invoke those simple words and change my attitude.
I have a job to do. If I can remain flexible and open to possibilities, I can navigate any difficulties that arise while maintaining a reasonably pleasant outlook.
As I go forward and deal with a particularly prickly co-worker or a inordinately intricate mandatory procedure I remind myself that I must always remain flexible.
So, like Frank Costanza’s cry of “serenity now” from the TV sitcom Seinfeld, I chant “Semper Gumby” and press on…