It Is A Reflex


Reflex on a bicycle saddle.

Yesterday I had my first work day for a new employer. I work in hospitality again. I am happy to have a new chance to take care of business in my life. As a drop-out without many diplomas and certificates you have to start somewhere. Say what you will about hospitality, it offers the kind of work environment that keeps you on your toes. In my case replace toes with shiny shoes and that brings me to the topic of reflexes.

In life there is a learning cycle to everything you encounter. There are models for this learning cycle but for me it is simple.

Simple Learning Cycle (My Experience)

Awareness: it exists, now what is it?

Perception: it is something, why do I perceive what I perceive?

First impression: it has a name, now what does it do or make?

Deep processing: A does B, comes from C and by practising A, I gain new skills. 

Comprehension: I can describe and explain it to a small child and effectively apply it.

Sometimes I have to relearn or improve something I thought I already expected to be skilled at. When I went to university the relearning experience was the cold shower that woke me up. Since then adapting to life in and around Amsterdam has been a matter of learning or relearning, getting used to routines and developing reflexes.

In my recent job hunt one reflex in particular was most effective. This reflex is not always appreciated but when you have to get things done, you try to and hope for the best. After finding a potential employer you call or try to speak to them directly, elevator pitch yourself and make an appointment. You make the time for that appointment and go there.

Yesterday at work I was hardly thinking about how I did my job. I only observed and did my thing. After the job was over I thought “okay, I can still do this well.” It is like being used to cycle your way around. You get on the bicycle and you handle that unstable chain-driven vehicle.

So when people ask me why I sometimes do what I do. Often it is reflex…