Thursday, June 9, 2016 3:01 PM

Be a blotter

Blot.  Quirky little word, isn’t it? 
As a noun, it is defined as “a soiling or disfiguring mark.”  Similar words include taint, tarnish, damage, distort, hurt.  Blot.  Blahhhh…t. 
Ever spill some liquid on your beautiful new carpet?  Or freshly dry-cleaned suit?  It’s never water, of course.  It’s always some stain-inducing, ridiculously-colored something.  Grape juice comes to mind from personal experience.
Interestingly, the solution for a blot the noun, is blot the verb: meaning to dry [something] by applying pressure [repeatedly] with an absorbent material.  That’s an Elaine Bruce paraphrase, but you get the picture.  Some of us are old enough to remember ink blotters; “back in the day” when pen and ink were the tools of most business trades instead of computers and keyboards.  Blotters were used to absorb ink spills and protect what was usually fine desk furniture.
Recently, Community Regional Medical Center lost a wonderful, compassionate Critical Care Nurse.  Karen Jacinto left this earth on May 23rd, leaving behind a heartbroken family and grieving co-workers.  Karen was “hospital family.”  Her passing has left many with a mark – a blot, if you will, that will linger for some time.
When I looked up “carpet spills,” I found this marvelously simple solution:

  1. Absorb the spill
  2. Treat the spot 

We can absorb someone else’s blot by repeatedly applying pressure.  When you encounter a co-worker who is tarnished or hurt and words are entirely inadequate, apply some pressure!  A hug, a squeeze, a touch will help “blot the blot” and alleviate some of their hurt!  Bedside caregivers know the importance of touch.  The more you can absorb, the lighter the burden becomes.  Even a little.
Then tell the stories that help treat that aching spot! Even better, write the stories!  The great memories that make you laugh so hard you cry … and then have a good cry.  But don’t stay there.
A residual stain that won’t go away requires treatment.  Please seek out help: from a trustworthy friend, a spiritual advisor, or a professional.  Don’t ignore the stain.  Or cover it.  We care about you, and others are depending on you.  Your wellbeing matters.
We are family.  Generally, we spend more time with our co-workers than our natural families.  We are in this life together.  The Bible encourages us to “bear one another’s burdens.” So how about bear [hugging] one another’s burdens?
Be a blotter; help absorb someone else’s hurt.  It will do you both good.
Elaine Bruce
Senior Business Analyst for Business Information Systems
Corporate Information Systems