North County Water & Sports Therapy - February 2021


(858) 675-1133 |

15373 Innovation Dr. #175 | San Diego, CA 92128 | (858) 675-1133 12171 World Trade Dr. | San Diego, CA 92128

MISTAKES AND MISFORTUNES Try Not to Sweat Small Stuff; There’s Always Something to Learn

How do you handle mistakes? I find the answer to that question says a lot about a person. We all know bad things happen from time to time — there’s nothing anybody can do about it. But what about when the bad thing is someone’s fault? How should you handle it? My motto is that even with big mistakes, if you’re gonna laugh about it in five years, it’s probably no big deal. After all, I’ve made a few mistakes of my own over the years. I fixed what I did, I absolutely learned from them, and many years later, I can look back and laugh. I think we all can relate to that, but I wanted to share a few mistakes from my past anyway and get readers thinking about what it means to mess up — and what it means to make things right. People are more likely to make mistakes when they’re in a new environment or learning new things. That was certainly the case back when I first entered the physical therapy industry as an aide. I spent a lot of time cleaning and sanitizing the spaces, including the pool area we used for therapy. One day I was cleaning around the side of the pool with a hose. Most of what I was cleaning was tile and concrete, but a little way down the line, there was a wheelchair — the ordinary, fold-up metal kind you see in hospitals. I figured a little hose water wouldn’t hurt the chair, right? What I didn’t know was that because the chair was covered in chemicals from the pool, it was actually in a delicate state. I gave it a quick spray

— and then watched as the whole wheelchair rusted before my eyes. Every exposed piece of metal turned red! Another time, when I was a PT aide at the same clinic, I was filling up a whirlpool at the end of a long day. The whirlpool room was right next to the front desk area, with just a door between them. As I waited for the pool to fill, I heard the front phone ring. Naturally, I stepped out of the room and took the call, and then sat down for a second while I assisted the caller over the phone. There I sat at the desk, tapping my foot on the floor as I spoke to them. Tap, tap, tap ... splash? My foot was tapping water! Once again, my boss just shook his head, and we dealt with the overflowing whirlpool in no time at all. It wasn’t easy, but it was an honest mistake. And as it turned out, I wasn’t the first or last person to make that particular mistake. We all learned, and we finally put in a sensor in

that tub that blared an alarm any time it was in danger of overfilling.

It was a mistake for sure, but like I said, one born of ignorance: I just didn’t know that chemicals, metal, and water could react that way. My boss at the time shook his head, explained what had happened, and then showed me how to scrub the patina of rust away. It took a whole day, but I learned my lesson. I also learned how a good manager or business owner reacts when things go wrong. That’s the thing about mistakes. If you can learn from them, then things aren’t as bad. And even if you can’t laugh at the time, it might be funny in a few years. The important thing is to learn and try not to sweat the small stuff. As a business owner and a person, I find keeping an eye on the bigger picture is more important than worrying over every mistake. I think I’m a happier person for it.

–Beth Scalone

1 (858) 675-1133

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