Monthly Archives: April 2014

Oysters on Valentine’s Day

kid with laundryI don’t do laundry.

Honestly, I can barely be counted on to get my dirty clothes in a hamper much less going to the added effort of making sure dirty clothes, get pre soaked, soaked, washed, rinsed, air dried, folded and placed neatly in a dresser drawer.

What I like to do is think about things. All kinds of things.

And I was doing just that very thing, the evening of February 13th, 2014. In my defense, I was thinking about my plan for Valentine’s Day, but my romantic side is not the focus of this blog. That evening, I had been working at my office and returned home late to a completely dark house. I slipped in the house, mulling over the options of how to make my Valentine’s Day plan just a little bit better.

What happened next remains in dispute within the factions of the Zeinert family.

The way I see it, some mindless, short-sighted, knuckle-head placed a series of clothes hampers in the hallway. In my heightened state of thought, and the pitch black nature of the house, I tripped over the hampers. In a sprawling, belly-flop motion, I toppled the hampers, broke the door to the closet that holds the washer and dryer, woke my wife and taught my children a string of new vocabulary words.

“What idiot put these here?”

“What idiot doesn’t look where they are walking?”

“Well this idiot was planning YOUR Valentine’s Date!”

“And this devoted wife was making sure you had clean clothes to wear on the date”

Two people, working toward the same goal, separated by work style.

Kelly (my wife) was busy preparing for our date by focusing on fundamental tasks. If I had to dress like a hobo in dirty clothes, it didn’t matter how unique my approach to the date might be. She was doing what any sane person would of done.

On the other hand, excitement, romance, and surprise make memories that last a lifetime. These moments punctuate the necessary rhythms of our lives, connecting a couple in ways a clean pair of khakis could never hope to achieve.

It would of been a lot easier if we had both approached the challenge with an identical set of priorities, but it would of not been better.

The collaboration between our approaches ensured a better end product, even if the collaboration created some irritation.

Irritation is not always bad. The friction between approaches, whether a marriage, a city council meeting, a church committee or a basketball team, creates new possibilities. Remember, its the irritation from a single piece of sand inside the oyster that creates a perfect pearl.

You have a work style, and so does everyone else. If you agree on the goal, go ahead and Irritate each other. See what amazing things your team can create.


Please answer the following questions in your responses below.


1. Is there a time irritation lead to a pearl in your work or home life?

2. Each of us has special powers of irritation. (a.k.a. work style). What’s yours and how do you connect with others to create something better.