I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from this guy. And yet I wasn’t surprised.
I come back up to the floor laden with syllabus, follow-up work book, plaque (“Be Here Now”), mini posters.
Ready to jump back in.
And my co-worker rolls his eyes—you know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you?—and says, with weary worldliness, “All that stuff’s okay, but it’s not the real world.”
I guess he felt the need to explain.
“This job isn’t what I want to be doing. It’s just a job. I have other things I want to poor my life into.”
As if I don’t.
This guy’s got other plans. And he’s working his plan.
Which includes letting the company he’s working for now pay for the education he’ll use to work for somebody else later.
My co-worker and I aren’t working at Walmart.
I’ve worked at Walmart. And a series of other low-paying, low-respect jobs as well. I know what a bridge job is. If this job is a bridge job to this guy, then he hasn’t suffered enough in the workplace.
Even at Walmart. Even at RadioShack before that. And all the other bridge jobs extending to the beginning of my adult life. Every job I’ve had (even the job washing dishes at Papa Murphy’s I worked to keep my family off food stamps) I’ve treated with respect and discipline.
And a bunch of hard work. With very little in return.
But this place?
As hard as the work is, we actually make a difference for real people in their real lives.
I can understand how the kind of pressure that puts on us may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
But it doesn’t deserve our cynicism.
But here’s the deal…
Cynics don’t deserve our pearls.
We don’t deserve to have our enthusiasm be rained on by cynics.
We deserve better—we need better if we’re going to survive and thrive as people, friends, family members.
Here’s what I learned from that conversation:
Before you talk about your enthusiasm, learn who you can trust with it.
Otherwise, just live enthusiastically and let the other guy make his own choices.
Don’t invite people to rain on your parade.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. —Colossians 3:23-24
Photo Credit: Pig With Boots by Ethan Bloch on Flickr