You Don’t Look Like A Cowboy


Persistence is often spoken of as a valuable trait in life. The willingness to continue in something that has yet to show any sign of success. Kind of a “no quit” attitude. The old adage being, “that persistence pays off”. Of course, this only works with things we believe can come to fruition simply by our own efforts. We must balance our persistence with the knowledge of what can be and what can never be, or we will persistently chase our desires down a hole and never see the light.

Persistence is the trait needed for the “long game”. Where subtle and seemingly innocuous things create an imperceivable push to that which we want to have happen. And when our persistence meets with success, it is a delicious victory at the end of an unusually long road, if it meets with success at all.

I mention this because I believe this is a trait that I have had some success with. But I do not expect you to take my word for it, so I offer the following as but one example of how to use this to your own advantage in life.

I took my current job about a year and a half ago, working as a Data Maintenance Representative for a national healthcare provider. The title is a real mouthful and somewhat mundane, so I thought about re-branding our department to be more reflective of the nature of our positions and maybe have a bit more flair. I decided to try to change our nomenclature to be referred to as “Data Wranglers”. A term associated with the film industry that is in no way the same type of work we do, but you must admit it sounds way cooler and is definitely more succinct. On my second day at work, I wrote on the white board by my desk, “Welcome to the Home of the Data Wranglers”. A small but obvious step in my machinations. My sister, being fully aware of my endeavors, gifted me a mask that said “Data Wrangler” on it to wear at work, which I did on the occasions it was necessary to wear a mask. I encouraged my department colleagues to adopt the persona and we have taken to using cowboy terminology when we can sneak it in, such as “I am going to round up these requests”, “I already put that one in the corral”, or “Help me out with this, I can’t seem to get a rope around it”.

A myriad of little things were employed in what could be considered a propaganda program. Every nook and niche were used to push this idea along its way to the general masses in the office. I felt a small twinge of success when our supervisor first sent out an email to our team with the salutation, “Dear Wranglers”. I knew I had gotten at least one person onboard. But it is easy to get one and that was not real success to me. I needed the entire company to accept the new term. So, my work continued. I even have a small puppet that is a horse, used to provide some humorous relief during stressful moments when he pops up over a cubicle wall or from around a door jamb with something witty or funny to “neigh”. His name is Charles but we all just call him “Charlie Horse”. Eventually, our manager was heard referring to our team as the “Data Wranglers”. Another small success, but we aren’t there yet.

Persistence is every workday, looking for, exploiting, and re-enforcing small things that seep into the subtext. Finding ways to build a sense of team with a common objective to re-brand ourselves. Encouraging personal responsibility and a sense of pride in our work by setting ourselves apart from the herd. I am a lover of the long game, as most people just don’t have the legs to compete. And I am a man of focus, if I am nothing else.

Now, getting close to two years into my job, I am ready to accept my success. In February, I started a newsletter from our department to go out to the hundreds of facilities we serve that gives our colleagues tips and tricks of how to best communicate and facilitate their needs from our staff. Clear communication and accuracy are vital in our work. It helps others understand not only the “whats” of information we require, but often the “whys” that help many gain a larger picture of what is needed for success as a company. My ranch owners were so pleased that they gave me a small certificate of recognition. Our newsletter is called “The Roundup” and specifically says that it comes from the “Data Wranglers”. New name on an official document shared across the company as a whole. I am going to call that success! Welcome to the bunk house, my friends, where “persistence pays off”!


26 Responses to “You Don’t Look Like A Cowboy”
  1. beth says:

    I love this rebranding! giddy up!

  2. Having some idea of the work you do, indeed, you are wranglers of data! Maintenance feels like your job is just to make sure the data is maintained, but as I understand it, you do additional work with the data to make reports, etc. I remember the wide grin when you opened the package with the mask inside! And I’m not surprised you started an email on your own accord – you always have strived to make the workplace a more efficient machine!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Thanks, sis! When I mentioned the idea of a newsletter to my boss, it gained little traction. I then wrote the first couple of editions and put them in front of her. Once she saw the concept in black and white, so to speak, she was all in. Love you!

  3. Great job Brad! And a bang up way to create team work!

  4. jonicaggiano says:

    Wow, what an interesting story. I love the idea too. Obviously you have the respect and admiration of those you work with but that is no surprise. Congratulations that is very exciting Brad. Have a good evening and stoke the fires. Sending big hugs 🤗 Jonikins

  5. petespringerauthor says:

    Part of what makes a work environment more uplifting is to have fun with your colleagues. Of course, that doesn’t work too well if you have stick-in-the-mud types. Persistence can be a cure or a curse. I generally see it as a positive quality, but if close-minded people continue to do the same things wrong repeatedly, then that is what we call insanity.

    I’m definitely for having fun in the workplace. Happy employees are more productive.

  6. kristianw84 says:

    I love this so much!! I worked as a Data Quality Manager at my last job, and the term “Data Wrangler” definitely fits, and sounds way more fun!

    As Mary Poppins would say, “For every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” Good for you in finding the fun!

  7. K.L. Hale says:

    Brad, I love this! I would definitely want to be a cowhand working next to you. And definitely, next to Charlie Horse. No doubt you’ll cross future hurdles with success! Way to go! BTW, I’m a huge western fan so the names make me smile huge! 🤍🤗😁

  8. Jim Borden says:

    congratulations, Brad! loved reading about this success story, and the steps you took to ensure such success.. John Wayne would have been proud of you. I also like Charley Horse – clever and fun.

    I too am a fan of the long game, but it is nice to have the little wins along the way to keep you motivated…

    I assume everyone on your team wears Wrangler jeans…

  9. Once you are on the bronco, good luck bucking you off. Lucky for your company. Many new employees come with hidden baggage. But you unpacked a bag of words and gumption.

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