Friday, August 18, 2006

Ethical Work

I’ll be honest and tell you right up front that I don’t particularly like to work. I like to be a homemaker. Drop a load of money in my bank account and I’ll quit my job tomorrow.
I have been known to say regularly of my job that it is not my life; it’s what I do to finance the important stuff.
That said, I have a problem with folks who complain about or avoid doing their jobs.
I guess we’re pretty blessed to live in a country where we have the opportunity to exchange the work of our hands and minds for money to feed our families and shelter us from the weather. So blessed I think we’ve forgotten that it’s a privilege and not a right to work.
We all know people who put more energy into dodging getting a job than actually working at a job would require. We know people who put great research into understanding “the system” so that they can take advantage of every private and government program out there to avoid taking responsibility for their own health care or daily needs.
I personally know people who make sure that their traceable income stays under the radar so that they still qualify for government assisted medical care for their children.
Shame on them.
But then there are those of us who go to work and spend eight hours a day trying to be invisible or to invent a theory by which specific tasks should not fall to us.
People who, when they hear of a procedural change, immediately start dancing around in their chairs grasping at the reason that they can’t do whatever is being suggested. Or why it makes more sense for someone else to do it.
Shame on them too.
I have a father-in-law approaching eighty years old who works at manual labor in the Tyson chicken packing plant near his home in Alabama. Suffice it to say, this isn’t at the top of anybody’s dream job list.
He does it because my mother-in-law is chronically ill and they need the Blue Cross in addition to the Medicare she receives. He does it because they have bills they have to pay off and they weren’t prepared for an easy retirement.
He is tired. He will tell you he’d like to retire. He’s been retiring “this spring” for ten years now.
But at the end of every conversation about a seventy-something year old man working at the chicken factory my father-in-law says, “Well, thank the Lord that I am still healthy and strong enough to work. I don’t know what we’d have done without Tyson keeping me on.”
He gets it, the privilege of work.
The other day I was talking to someone who had been informed of a few minor changes in their daily duties at work. Nothing overwhelming. A little inconvenient. Stuff that will demand a little more time and cause a little more hustle. They were mad about the changes and stretching to explain why it was unreasonable.
I finally had enough and here was my answer, “Are you gonna cash your check on Friday?”
Of course they are!
Then do the work.

Dear God, Forgive us for considering the privilege of work with resentment. Remind us of the fact that there have been times in this very country when strong men begged for the chance to earn loose change trying to feed their families. Help us to remember that in other countries, small children work in sweat shops struggling to survive. Make us mindful that you have placed us in this blessed nation with the opportunity to go to work and support ourselves. Let us approach our work as our reasonable service in response to our great blessing. Take the work of our days and let us glorify you with our service. In Jesus name, Amen.
Ecclesiastes 2:24
A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God...


Birmingham Girl said...

Good post. I don't like working either..but I'm so blessed to have a job to go to and I'm so thankful. An honest days work for an honest days pay ~ it's the least we can give our employer.

tina fabulous said...

hey, i put a lot of effort into not having to put a lot of effort into my job!
i certain i will always gripe about my job, but on the bright side, i get wear whatever i want, which is key, and i like the people i work with... even when they steal my donut. i just think of it all as comedic fodder for my blog.

Brother Dave said...

Too bad we are subjected to too many folks who succkle on others hard work to support their habits of abuse and not work...
3 Rehab is an unfriendly reminder...

KayMac said...

Your F-I-L is my HERO!!!

MSUgal86 said...

I am about to re-enter a workplace that could double as a dark comedy on Broadway. It is a place I thought I would never work at again. Even the thought makes me shiver, but I need the money. And, I will do a good job, because I do a good job everywhere I work. Accomplishment is something people can't take away from you, even if they doon't like you!

tina fabulous said...

did he just say "suckle"?

Tonya said...

I do not like to work either, but I run into those same type of people at work, and it just bothers me so much. Especially when I am putting in 50 hours a week and I do not get paid for overtime, I am just doing free work anything over 40 hours. So I am with you Sara, quit the complaing and just do the job. You at least get a check on Friday that you can cash..

robynette said...

then there are those of us that would give our eye teeth to still be working at jobs we adored,i had one of those jobs till ill health forced me to give it i had to give up the last link to that job,and silly as it seems i have cried all day over sister told me to remember GOD doesnt close one door without opening another.i have been waiting years for the new door i told her,she reminded me it would be in HIS time not mine.i know it should make me feel better and it will once i feel i have wallowed in self-pity long enough,then once again i will allow HIM to pull me up again and go on.but today has sure hurt my feelings.