Inevitably Agile

somethings are just inevitable …

the sour life of a lemon

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now… I’ve hinted at this in various posts but never actually done a post on it. Recently in a friends blog post she mentioned something about working with lemons. I thought nothing of it, but quite a few people were upset about it.

Why didn’t it bother me? Well, I’m quite confident that I’m not a lemon.

Why did it annoy others? If you’re taking such offence – maybe you should look at why its hitting a nerve. I then realised that I have been there, one of the lemons.

Please realise that this is my personal definition of lemon, where I was sour inside and had a thick skin. Here is another that sums it up well for me. So in the spirit of making all my failures and achievements no matter how ugly or small visible – here is my story 🙂

I was a lemon. It was a dark time for me. I felt that everything was just too much. That the company expected too much from me, that “they” were to blame for my feeling this way. That “they” needed to change else “they” would lose me (and I am super duper valuable – are these people blind?) and then more people would follow (haha – take that silly people). That “they” were stupid and dumb and too high up the food chain to realize how unhappy people were.

I knew I was affecting (or rather infecting) colleagues with my negativity. And this made me glad. If more people were miserable and distant like me then “they” would have to change.

All of this made me a nasty, horrid person to be around. I was a total bitch. I had no patience, snapped at people for no reason and just loved to moan about any little thing. Have a mole hill? Let me turn that into a mountain for you… Oh and I loved to wallow about my (our) sorrow state with fellow colleagues. Being a lemon affected my health and life – I put on loads of weight (20kg over 2 years) and was incredibly unfit. I was smoking up a storm and drinking too often and way too much. My diet mainly consisted of take-aways.

Negativity  is a nasty little slippery slope.

I didn’t wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and see a slowly rotting lemon, it was a gradual change that I never noticed until I’d spent a few months in the pits of despair. I was working a lot of overtime, so I was tired and not firing on all cylinders. I felt used and abused by the company – mostly due to the overtime and pressure that was being pounded on me. I felt frustrated at not getting “them” to see I was hurting and that others were hurting and changing “their” ways. So, basically what I’m trying to say is it was not all my fault – it was the situation and the circumstances that I found myself in… and then some was all me 😦

It took me a while to recognise just how much of a lemon I was. I can’t remember the exact day or event that opened my eyes. I wish I could. It was around the time I started blogging though – so maybe it was the introspection of blogging. I started to see that not everything was “their” fault. I could also understand why “they” did things a certain way. I realised (and this is the big one) that I can change who I was – the lemon.


First I concentrated on changing me.

Who did I want to be? (not who did “they” expect me to be).

What did I want to do? I started formalising my thoughts and blogging about them.

Looking back, my first blog post mentions that I’d just stopped smoking. A few weeks later I’d started working on my diet. I started reading more about topics that I was interested in. I started doing things at work to improve MY working conditions. I also came to the realisation that I needed a bigger change and challenge. And I resigned.

In the last 5 months I have changed many things. And that’s how to stop being a lemon – I changed those things. I stopped wanting and waiting and bemoaning the world for not accommodating me, and I changed. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t difficult either. I just need to choose to change, and to choose to continuously inspect and adapt.


3 responses to “the sour life of a lemon

  1. Sam March 23, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    an awesome PDF on 20 things to get you out of lemon mode …

  2. Bob March 24, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    When the Change Process Champion is blindly applying methodologies to all areas of business and some staff express concern that perhaps it is not the best fit for the business then it easy to label these people as lemons.

    If you are not for us then you are against us.

    • sam March 25, 2010 at 6:48 am

      Hi Bob
      Why remain anonymous? Everyone is entitled to their opinion – hence I have a blog to write about mine. Based on your last statement you misunderstood the point of my blog post – which was to explain MY experience as a lemon which I think is a state of mind. So what does that statement say about your state of mind?

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