Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Obolvate Posterium Tuum

   It may be a fancy way to say it, but these words are serious words of wisdom that everyone should endeavor to follow. We all find ourselves in compromising situations at times...and it’s either prior to, or during these moments that we should have, or at least start to, obolvate posterium tuum.
   My Latin isn’t good at all...and honestly, I’m not the originator of the translation, so forgive me in advance if I have it wrong or if it’s a little off. I know someone reading this is an expert in Latin (Murphy’s Law and all) and will have a conniption at how I’ve butchered the mother of modern languages. However, instead of harping on how bad I am at speaking dead languages (I can hear it now...”Latin is NOT dead!”), let’s focus on the message that’s trying to be delivered.
   Life is just one situation after the next, with the experiences comprising of both good and bad, depending on the choice of perspective these situations are viewed from. Granted, if you’re seeing yourself as possibly being compromised by the circumstance you find yourself in, then the choice has already been my opinion. Depending on the variables that contribute to getting you where you are, when you don’t want to be there, it’s always a great habit to “cover your ass”...or as they might have said in Latin, “obolvate posterium tuum.”
   Planning ahead to make sure your backside is covered might not sound easy, but a large percentage of doing that is simply doing whatever it is you’re supposed to do...instead of cutting corners, taking shortcuts...or disregarding guidelines, which could open you up to an unpleasant situation that was totally avoidable. 
   Guidelines and procedures, either in the work place or as a matter of law of ordinance is a great example of what I’m talking about. Most work environments have standard operating procedures...or S.O.P’s. Every workplace has rules. When dealing with any aspect of your job, either internally or as a matter of customer service, following the established guidelines and rules act as a protective shield for your hiney. After all, if you do everything you are supposed to do, the fault or lapse in service isn’t yours, but instead within the guidelines laid out for you to follow. It’s when these established procedures are not followed, regardless of whatever good intent was the catalyst, that one can find themselves in the proverbial hot water...with their ass exposed.
   The liability just increases when you are a manager, supervisor, or in a position of authority. Not only are you responsible for your actions, but the actions of your subordinates, to some extent. As a supervisor now, I’ll never forget the wise words of my superior then. It was an interesting analogy...

“Cover your ass always. Think of this job as a boat, and when you don’t cover your ass, you put yourself in the water. I’m the one that has to throw you a life jacket and pull you back keep me in the boat. If you drag me in the water with you, then I can’t help you because I’m trying to get my own life jacket, and get back in the boat. If we’re both in the of us is going to drown, and it isn’t going to be me. So cover your ass...cause I’m covering mine.”
   Wise words (in any language) that have never left me...and now I share them with you... obolvate posterium tuum!

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