Who Cares? I Do.

It’s no secret that I love television and I’ve been really bummed about the decision by ABC to cancel long-standing daytime dramas All My Children and One Life to Live.

Back when All My Children went off the air in September, I dedicated a whole month of blog posts to the ending of the show. I caught a lot of flack for it from friends and family and followers of my writing.

So as One Life to Live wrapped it’s 42-year run this month, I wasn’t sure whether to write about it or not. I wasn’t in mood for the grumbling and critical reactions. I wasn’t in the mood to justify all the reasons why this is significant to me. I wasn’t in the mood to hear “Who cares?!?” for the umpteenth time.

I care.

The business of television is changing and daytime serial drama is getting a raw deal as a result. Networks are manipulating statistics and analytics rather than being honest with stakeholders and fans about the decisions they are making. It’s the end of an era.

And I care.

Victoria Lord and Clint Buchanan finally know that Jessica is their biological daughter, not the daughter of psycho killer Mitch Laurence! In joy from this discovery, Clint proposed to Vicki again. Vicki’s brother Todd and his former wife and forever baby momma Blair reunited — but Blair doesn’t know that Todd is responsible for the murder of his long-lost twin brother Victor Lord Jr and she doesn’t know Todd framed Victor’s wife Tea’s brother Thomas for the murder to keep Blair from marrying Thomas. And no one knows Victor is really alive and being held captive by crazy Allison Perkins, who has been obsessed with the Lord and Buchanan families since the 1980s for stuff surrounding Mitch Laurence … Wow!!

And, as crazy as all that sounds to most people, I still care.

In management (especially HR), we get confronted with and pulled into issues all the time that make us want to say “Who cares?!?”

Two hours missing on someone’s paycheck … “And you want it today?!? Really?!?”

A demand for reprint due to a small change on a meeting agenda … “Dude. It’s not that serious.”

The employee who cussed out their supervisor and wants to ‘discuss’ or ‘appeal’ the disciplinary action … “I would ask if you’ve lost your mind but it’s already clear you have because you cussed out your boss. Big dummy.”

However, we have to look at it from the other side and try to understand where the other person is coming from. We don’t have to agree or place the same level of importance on something to have empathy or relate to frustration, disappointment, anger, etc. We don’t have to like what the person is saying to give them a moment to be heard.

That doesn’t change our opinion and it doesn’t change our responsibility to deliver the truth to the person, either. If you can’t pay out the two hour error or if the agenda reprint is too expensive or if the person’s disciplinary action cannot be changed, you should say that — but you don’t have to be a jerk about it. Even when you really, really want to be.

Who cares? I care. And because of that, you should too. At least enough to shut up and let me have a moment.

Farewell, Llaview friends!

Now back to the One Life we have to Live …

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