Seventy-seven F-words is a lot, especially in just five minutes while mixed in with a number of other profanities. That’s what Bryan Price, manager of the Cincinnati Reds, cut loose with on Monday after a standard pregame interview with reporters. Price, previously known as an even-keeled man, took great umbrage at news a local reporter’s newspaper had leaked and questions that had been posed about players not in the lineup over the weekend.
In the course of his excoriation of the reporter, Price accused him of actions that harmed the ball club and interfering with his job, a rather volcanic way of saying, “You do your job, and I’ll do mine, and stay out of my way.” While Price did offer an apology for his choice of words, he stood by his message. Buster Olney of ESPN and Mike Oz of Yahoo Sports have both written thoughtful pieces about where Price went wrong in his understanding of the media’s relationship with baseball teams, but I see evidence of a broader error, one that any of us might make.
Too often we view our work in isolation, as if we work for and by ourselves. We think of the benefits of our work only for ourselves and of the responsibilities only we hold. But there’s a catch: Nobody actually works in isolation. Even the most hermit artist creates something for other people. All of us spend all of every day affecting other people and being affected by them in some way. Our jobs are not our own, so we must remember four things as we go about work (things that might have helped Price avoid his tirade):
1) We have an obligation to make the lives of others better.
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2) We must not impede others.
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3) We must treat others with respect, even when we are at odds with them.
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4) We must seek to see things through others’ eyes.
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