Friday, May 1, 2015

Order in the ranks: Part 3

"I need everyone to continue performing admirably." - Mr. Spock

Excellence, responsibility, reputation.  

When I was young I worked at a chain restaurant.  Denny's, it was, and I worked for them for a long time.  I did most every job they had available.  I was a waitress, a cook, a bus person, and I was in management.  I left them several times only to go back again.  Why?  It certainly wasn't for the pay or the benefits or the wonderful hours. No, it was because I liked it.  I really did.  I particularly liked waiting tables.

I enjoy being busy, and anyone who has ever waited tables knows, you stay pretty busy.  I liked, that to some degree, I was able to affect the amount of money I earned above my hourly wages by earning tips.  I also enjoy people.  I like to interact with them.  I like to read them, their moods and attitudes.  I like to make people happy.  When stopping in at a Denny's, most people I served probably just sort of eeny-meeny-miney-moe-d and popped in without a lot of planning, but I'd pretend that they all had a special reason for being there.  I would think, maybe they've had a tough day, maybe this is the only day they get to go out, or maybe it's all they can afford, and it's up to me to see to it that they have the finest experience they can.

I had other jobs.  I even ran my own businesses, but in every case, I looked at the people I worked for as folks who really needed for me to be there and do great work.  In all cases I was always aware that I was being paid for my services.  That payment meant that, at least for this agreed upon time, they are sort of "renting" me and my skills to do a job.  I'm on their time, their dollar and I owed them a good job.  Anything less was akin to stealing in my mind, and would be substandard and unacceptable.

I never forgot about who I was.  I always knew that my good name and my reputation were the only valuable things I possessed in this world and I was 
and still am EVER vigilant to keep them sterling.  Even when I was not a person of good character I strove to keep my professional reputation intact.  As a result I was always fairly compensated, treated well and received all the benefits most good employees receive.  As a result of that, I was happy, motivated and I liked my job.  I enjoyed working for Denny's.

Then they hired a guy.  I'll call him Bill.  Bill didn't really mind the idea of working, but he was never happy to do his job.  I know, everyone has a tough day or even a tough series of days for one reason or another, but Bill just wasn't ever happy.  He was punctual, presentable and accomplished his tasks as they were explained to him: no more, no less.  And he griped.

The equipment was old and didn't always work. The co-workers were difficult.  The pay was too low for him to have to work so hard.  The required clothing, the long hours, the short hours, the holiday requirements...  "It's unfair!  The boss is...."  

And so it begins: dread, dissatisfaction, resentment.  Set your alarm.  Get up.  Head out to your job.  Another day another dollar.  Work-a-day world goes right along punching the time clock.  Working for the weekend.  TGIF.

"I don't like my job."
"I can't stand my boss."

Unfortunately, in most any job you work, there's going to be ol' Bill: the guy who is always unhappy for one reason or another.  He's just going to gripe.  It boils down to him being thankless, immature, or both, and it means that you are going to have to deal with him, because he is probably not going to change.  You can let him dictate the atmosphere, or you can step up and take charge.  Be what the military calls the Chief Morale Officer, or the CMO.  They recognize how essential good morale is to a good operation.  You don't have to do it for Bill's sake, or even the boss' sake. Do it because it's right.  It will benefit you and everyone around you in the long run.

Assess your situation.  Are you unhappy in your job, or in your life?  Check your heart.  Are behaving childishly?  Are you being thankless?  Maybe you are allowing 'Bill' or your grumpy supervisor to have way too much control over your state of mind.  Come on now, be honest with yourself.  Pray. Think it through.  Form a plan of action as you would with any situation, and with the help of The Lord, follow your plan.  Remember, you are your CMO.

I know, this is pretty old fashioned advice.  I realize it's not cool.  I'm not offering mood altering drugs or group counselling sessions, or even a late night chat over coffee to vent and let it out.  I don't offer any advice on coping with your problem. I'm telling you to overcome it.

God made you to be the light in a dark place.  You are responsible for keeping that light bright.  He also said for you to do everything as unto the Lord.  You are not allowed to indulge yourself in this destructive mindlessness.  Believe it or not, you, by yourself, are able to change your world into a place you can enjoy again.  This puts you back in the position of leader in your own life, and you will be surprised how quickly you can bring about a significant change.

ontinue performing admirably.