Thursday, August 02, 2007

268. injury plus insult

Another update on the work situation.

So, um, guess who won the Employee of the Quarter award last week? I'll give you a hint: it wasn't me.

Yeah, so last week Harold was christened Employee of the Quarter. Harold: I'll-do-the-easy-work-first-and-hope-that-someone-else-does-the-hard-bit Harold, take-a-break-whenever-you-can Harold, hoard-a-bunch-of-the-blue-carts-even-though-other-departments-need-them-more-than-we-do Harold.

Speaking of blue, I'll get to that in a second.

First I just want to make something clear. The thing that grinds me the wrong way isn't the fact that I didn't win Employee of the Quarter. I don't care about the award. It's the fact that HAROLD won because if Harold is an example of what my company considers an employee to be lauded, to be identified as a kind of ideal (because that's what these awards are supposed to do right?) then...then..then I honestly don't know what to say. When Harold told me about it I congratulated him with a smile then walked down one of the rows of boxes where he couldn't see me and then I...well, I didn't know what to do because it all seemed so surreal. I just shook my head and went back to stacking boxes.

The rest of the day went by in a kind of daze but late in the afternoon I got a message saying that people had been noticing a number of blue carts in our department - these are heavy duty blue dollies used to move boxes around the warehouse. Late in the afternoon, all the orders that are due to go out the next day get printed out and get distributed among the workers. If you get your list of orders and can't find a cart for yourself then life sucks for you.

In our department, I'd been noticing that we had a surplus of these carts but Harold guarded them jealously and I wasn't about to risk pissing him off by suggesting that we share them. Well, I guess word finally got out to the other departments and the same afternoon when Harold won the EOQ award,I got the message to give up a couple of our carts. I told them, "no problem, I'll wheel them over myself."

Thankfully, Harold had gone home by the time I got the request so I didn't have to tell him we were getting rid of some of our carts but as I was wheeling them out to the department that was requesting them, I noticed a bunch of people giving me stink eye (a Hawaiian Pigeon English term - I think in the mainland it's called the hairy eyeball or the evil eye). See they probably thought that both Harold AND I were hoarding all the carts for ourselves. Thing is, I've never brought a cart into our department, and while I've never actually seen Harold bring a cart into our department, there's only two of us in our department so who else could it have been? Oh, that and the fact that he's told me on a couple occasions that he's grabbed some carts for our section.

So here I am, wheeling these carts out so other people can use them and people are looking at me with a gaze that says, "hey asshole, thanks for finally sharing those with the rest of us." And I wanted to tell them that I wasn't the one stealing them. I wanted to tell them that Mr. Employee of the Quarter was the one filching them but I bit my tongue and just put the carts back where they belonged.

Injury plus insult makes for a pretty severe test of my spreading-the-Kingdom-in-secret philosophy. Truth be told, I've been noticing this week that it's been harder than usual to keep myself motivated enough to work to the standard I set for myself, and it's usually hard enough as it is.

But I've been thinking about the passage in Matthew 11:28-30 where Jesus tells us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. I notice that he didn't say, "my hammock is comfortable and my pillow is fluffy." Even though he promises rest for our soul, it still requires a yoke and a burden, easy and light as they are.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though that day last week did its best to upset me, I'm soldiering on as best I can.

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