Saturday, September 1, 2007

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To Work We Go!

My sis and I have been reflecting (in our at-least-thrice-daily conversations on the phone that take place in between screaming, demanding children, folding laundry, and a million other things) a lot about "work".

My sister works two days a week (outside the home) and bumps into all facets of the working world. She notices: secretaries, bosses, peer lawyers, janitorial staff (sometimes she has to work after hours to get projects done),(on her breaks and running errands she sees...) fast-food workers, grocery store employees, highway workers, dentists, bank tellers, construction workers...I mean, think about how many workers you run into in just the course of your every day life?

I don't get exposed to quite that many people on a daily basis, but recently, I got a job at night (after the kids are settled) at a local children's clothing store. I am getting to know the other workers as we unbox, refold or hang, and display the clothing. I am finding out about their lives, their work ethic (very good, all of them) and about other places they have worked.

We (sis and I) have really come to the conclusion that NO job is menial. Every job is important because every thing we do has a snowball effect on all of society. True, there might be varying degrees of repercussion depending on what's at stake for each, individual job...But my main point is this:
Do whatever job you have well, and you will be rewarded. Do it well and you will make others happy. Do it well and others will maybe follow your example which will improve ALL of mankind. Do your best, and you will do no less than glorify God!

I could list and link to a bazillion examples but I won't bore you with that, I'm sure you are thinking of one right now...aren't you?

I will give you one example:
When I go to the store (any store) and I see something not where it's supposed to be, I grab it and bring it up to the cashier. I didn't always do this before. I used to be one of those people who would change my mind about something and set it down any, old place (this was before I had children!) not caring about who had to pick it up and put it away eventually. Of course, I would justify this by saying (to myself) "Well, what do they pay their employees to do, anyway?". Yes, that was a real stinky attitude to have, but no one showed me any different. Working at this job has shown me that even in a small store, one thing out of place is a terrible inconvenience. I have to take the time to figure out where it's really supposed to go, bring it there, put it away nicely, then straighten everything else around it so it looks like it belongs there. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but multiply that ONE item by several dozen and now you have loads of time being taken on this task that could have been avoided had those people just been considerate and put it back where it goes in the first place! Also, (snowball effect example) I am taking time away from what I SHOULD be doing which is processing new things that have come I can get them into view...for the customers convenience and pleasure! If I don't get to THAT, then the boxes just get stored until someone has time to open them and process them out onto the floor. See? The customer who willy-nilly threw clothing around the store just cost themselves the chance at seeing new merchandise a little earlier, won't buy anything new for a while (because they've already seen what's available), the store loses money, can't pay their employees, goes out of business, the customer moans and complains because that was their favorite store, and everybody loses! Okay, I exaggerated the scenario a bit, but it applies to almost every occupation out there in some way.

If my husband does a poor job, people could die. The workers could be careless and lose their lives, the buildings could collapse and kill many people and destroy millions of dollars in property. Oh yeah, and if he did a poor job, he wouldn't have that job long and our family would be on some kind of welfare and taking money from people who decided to do a GOOD job, keep their job, and pay into the government to cover for people who don't make that decision.

I like this encyclical. It's one of my favorites (heehee, said as if I sit around all day reading encyclicals like SOME people I know!)

Here is something from the first paragraph:

"Man is made to be in the visible universe an image and likeness of God himself, and he is placed in it in order to subdue the earth. From the beginning therefore he is called to work. Work is one of the characteristics that distinguish man from the rest of creatures, whose activity for sustaining their lives cannot be called work. Only man is capable of work, and only man works, at the same time by work occupying his existence on earth."

When I read this, I thought that it was interesting that he talks about other animals (creatures) and how they merely "work" to sustain their lives. He almost seems to say (in a way) that sustenance is not enough to be called "work". That "work" sets us apart and should be considered a noble effort...the noblest, because we are made in the image and likeness of GOD!

And God does NOT do shoddy work.


Anonymous said...

"Oh yeah, and if he did a poor job, he wouldn't have that job long and our family would be on some kind of welfare and taking money from people who decided to do a GOOD job, keep their job, and pay into the government to cover for people who don't make that decision."

-Real nice comment. Let's hope you're never down on your luck and need a helping hand to get back on your feet. Typical pharisee.

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

-Real brave coment. Let's hope next time you make a "pharisee" judgement about me or anyone else, you really read the entire post to get what that person is trying to say. Now, if you DO read the entire post with some insight as to the person actually writing it (for your reading pleasure), let's ALSO hope that the next time you make a negative statement, you get the (metaphorical) cajones to actually state your REAL name or some indication of who you are (only too easy to hide behind the moniker "anonymous"...and for the record, unless you apologize and state your identity, you WON'T be commenting on this blog any longer).

For the record, I HAVE been what you call "down on my luck" (p.s. We're Catholic and we don't believe in "luck"-good or bad) and needed a helping hand. I got it from my friends and family, all of whom didn't even know I was hurting. It's just that God answered my desperate prayers with their unsolicited help at just the time I needed it. I try like hell every day to remember that when I see someone else in pain and do whatever I can to alleviate it when I do. Most of the time, all I can do is pray, but sometimes that is enough because God works so much faster than I ever could!

I am not a rich person, never have been. My husband works HARD to keep his position and job at his company. He earns EVERY STINKIN PENNY and I don't care if that sounds like bragging because he ALSO has enough generosity in his heart to always provide for one more mouth (even though everyone, and I mean EVERYONE at his job and in his life says he's crazy to have "so many kids") in this house and I will sing his praises until the day I die! I have recently taken a job just for few hours at night to get some of the financial pressure off of him (it's not much at all, but it helps a little) to always BEG his boss for more work so he can put food on the table and keep the roof over our heads.

Also, any trouble I've ever had to put myself into a desperate position has been self imposed by poor decisions or "bad bets". It's not really easy to feel sorry for yourself when you know, deep down that you are the one who put yourself in that hole so when you do (end up feeling sorry for yourself), you thank God's mercy to the hilt when He gives you some measure of comfort despite your lack of good judgement! Of course, in some situations (natural disasters, accidents, death of a spouse or loved one, etc.) the person(s) affected need help from all of us and I think anyone with sense could see that these situations are not what I was talking about in my post!

In MY scenario (hubs losing his job because of having a poor work ethic) I was trying to illustrate how making the DECISION to slack off at ones job and not take pride in ones work can have a (bad) snowball effect on the family, economy, tax base, and the brotherhood of Man in general...NOT that "everyone who is on welfare is a freeloading loser" or what ever you THINK I was saying.

Take responsiblilty. THAT is what I was saying.

Typical anonymous commenter.

fertlmertl said...

What the? How does "down on your luck" equate with "doing a poor job"???????

swissmiss said...

Aside from the snarky comment above, on a lighter note, you didn't mention that mothers are supposed to be worth like 2 Billion dollars to the economy. Actually, it's like $128K or something like that. I don't think they pro-rated it for the number of kids you have, so you must be worth a heck of a lot more :)