Recently, I stood in a circle of about 15 people in the break room at work. It was Cake Day—a time-honored tradition where everyone gathers in the kitchen one day per month, sings “Happy Birthday” to people born in that month (whether they are present or not), stuffs cake into their mouths, and returns to their job. Between Cake Day and reminders to “tidy up [my] desk,” I regularly have to remind myself I work in an insurance office and not a 3rd grade classroom.
If you often find yourself referring to that thing you do 40+ hours a week as “my job,” chances are, there are plenty of opportunities to be cynical. While navigating the seas of office cubicles over the years, I’ve discovered one constant: change. Nothing ever stays the same. Management is always looking for that next big initiative that increases revenue or improves morale. Furthermore, the employees’ reaction to that change is fairly predictable and can be displayed by both genders.
The Chicken Little – More contagious than the flu, “Chicken Little Syndrome” is characterized by the powerful ability to freak out and consequently cause other people to freak out over the smallest things. Chicken Littles never like to cry and moan alone. They want every person in the office to know that the sky is falling and often disguise their pity party by calling it “Happy Hour.”
The Zorro – Each time this individual opens her mouth, it’s impossible not to envision her saying “Oh no you didn’t!” and snapping her fingers in a “Z” formation while swiveling her head. She’s angry; everybody is against her. She finds as many people to express her frustration to as possible and often makes giant claims about what she WILL or WON’T do. Her eharmony profile should list “Cussing for the sake of cussing” as her passion.
The Man of Privilege – I often just assume these types are independently wealthy, as it is obvious that everyone else should feel privileged that he even shows up on a day-to-day basis. He has life figured out. He deals with office drama simply by saying, “I HOPE they fire me! I don’t need this job!” The Man of Privilege often threatens to quit to his friends, too, but he never actually follows through.
The Recruiter – As soon as something goes down, he’s interviewing at other companies and letting all of his co-workers know about it. An average conversation probably consists of, “Man, I’ve probably got a job down at ABC Company making twice what I make here. You want me to get you in over there?” How he possesses so much pull at a company he doesn’t even work for, nobody knows.
The Conspiracy Theorist – The Theorist wears a frown like she is getting paid for it. Any conversation with her is diverted to a discussion pertaining to management’s deep desire to screw the employees out of all contentment. She constantly promotes displeasure among co-workers while secretly hoping to form a lynch mob to overtake management.
My ability to describe each of these people stems from a sobering realization: I have been them. Every single day I step foot in my office, I have temptation to wallow in displeasure. What I have realized is as long as someone else is in charge, I will never completely agree with the way a company is managed. Unfortunately, through the years, I realize that my reactions have not always been ideal. What does that say about the man that I am and my strength (or lack thereof) to endure?
If you find yourself wallowing in displeasure about your employment, stop for a second. Who promised you that earning a wage wouldn’t bring opportunities to grow beyond just the actual skills that are needed to perform your job daily? As hokey as it sounds, I have decided that I report to Christ. As for my job? It’s simply a blessing in which I am allowed to sow seeds of hard work into in exchange for a modest paycheck. As long as I report to Him daily, I am never surprised when the average man disappoints in any arena.
Instead of searching for opportunities to complain about everything your job doesn’t provide, start every day by thanking the Lord God for what it does.
Have you found other “types” at your job? Would others categorize you negatively? Have you sincerely thanked God lately that He has blessed you by providing for your needs?
*Photo credit: dbgg1979