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The Minnie Stories

Cleaning Up Your Act - Part 4


You know something else I’ve noticed over the years I’ve spent listening to other people talking - and talking to myself? It’s this - the words people use, the way they describe things, says more than what they intend! Can you believe it!? Let me give you a for instance….my Jack’s sister, Ruby, was always upset at the world; she’d say things like

“You know what really makes me sick, Minnie? It’s the way people are full of crap, pardon my French. I can’t stomach it!”

And you know something…….she was getting worse and worse pains, she went to the doctor, and was told she had Irritable Bowel Syndrome……!

And there was also Carol, who job-shared with Melanie in Accounts – she was off for a week with a frozen shoulder….and you know what? Her mother had died three months before, and Carol had to sort everything out……her brother was “too busy”, her sister “lived too far away”…..and Carol told me one day

“I’m having to shoulder all the responsibility for the whole family……!”

Things like that, they make you look at life differently, don’t they? And for me, the more I heard, the more it started me really noticing the things I say myself!.

Like a few months ago…….the offices took on a new night caretaker. And from the first time I let myself in, he was like the Gestapo..

“Who are you?” “Where’s your pass and name tag?” And in such a tone of voice! Sounds silly, I know, but it started really getting me down; every time I got to the offices, this interrogation. And he was getting nastier and nastier, as well; making sneering remarks about a “fat old woman like you shouldn’t be in a smart place like this”, and “Doesn’t your husband give you any money, then!” And once, when I said he shouldn’t talk to me like that, he said

“Gonna report me then? I wouldn’t bother…..they won’t thank you for making trouble. You’re more likely to lose your job than I am!” And that scared me, but even so, I did ask the Office Manager if he could have a quiet word, and you know what he told me

“That’s the way things are now, Minnie. Security has to come first, like it or lump it. You’ve been here longer than he has - deal with it”

Well I certainly didn’t like it, but I bottled up how I felt, that it was so unfair: and I decided I’d have to lump it, whatever that meant! And the caretaker just got worse and worse, until he was really terrible to me - but of course not when the Manager was around! It was getting to the point when I even considered giving up the job! After all these years….!

But of course the more I kept it inside me, the more it festered: ‘til it got to where I said to myself

“I don’t know if I can handle this any more…..It’s becoming like a cancer inside me. I’ve got to do something, say something to someone……get it off my chest”

But still I did nothing, said nothing; I just took it……..

Then a few weeks ago, I’d hurt my shoulder shlepping a heavy desk around; and I woke up in the early hours, because it was really sore. And you know how, when something’s hurting, you rub it to ease the pain? So I’m half asleep, and gently rubbing my right side; and that’s when I felt it……in the side of my right breast…….a lump.

And really clearly I heard Miriam’s voice in my head

“Go to the doctor, Bubbelah, first thing in the morning.”

So the next day I did; and the doctor examined me, and referred me straight away, for tests. They were wonderful at the Breast Care clinic: but even so, it still means having to wait for a couple of the longest weeks I’ve ever known, for the results…..

And that’s when I said to myself

“Lumping it, eh,? Maybe now you should tell the boss what’s been going on. Make a clean breast of it”

See what I mean, about the way we say things? Isn’t that wonderful! I thought, I’m really going to listen in future, not just to what people say, but how they say it. Then even when they don’t actually come out with what’s really bothering them, I’ll maybe be able to help them anyway, because they’ll be giving me clues!

The other thing is, this whole business has made me reconsider what’s really important…….so I told the Managing Director what’s been going on……and when he called the caretaker in to ask him about it, the man got really unpleasant to him, and handed in his notice!

And the Managing Director apologised to me, which was lovely of him. And he said

“In future, Minnie, don’t keep things like this to yourself. It’s always better to get them off your chest”

If he only knew, I thought…….!

I’m going back to the Clinic tomorrow, to get the results.

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Cleaning Up Your Act

Introduction To The Story Collection

The Minnie Kerchevsky Stories

Real wisdom can often be found in the most unlikely places....not from teachers, coaches, professors and so on, but from ordinary people who have their own life experiences to draw on to help others.

Cleaning Up Your Act is a collection of the stories of one of these very special people.........

Minnie Kerchevsky is a so-called ‘ordinary woman’, a cleaner, a 'daily', with no pretensions, no super-ego... just a desire to make things better in any way she can; helping those around her to “clean up their acts” in her own unique and heart-warming way!

Minnie believes that what stops us being happy is thinking we don’t have choices - and that feel-good is a state of mind we can always choose to be in!

So in ‘Cleaning Up Your Act’, we gradually learn about Minnie’s own life and events - and how she dealt with challenges and learned how to see raindrops as sunbeams in disguise! - interwoven through the stories she shares about the people she impacts with the homespun wisdom that is the essence of who and how she is, because of who and how she has been.

Each of us has met Minnie, or someone like her, in our lives... and if we haven’t, we’re the poorer for it - so here’s our chance to put that right!



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