“Forebearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also (do) ye.” Colossians 3:13
“war erupts in the workplace” definitely an odd headline in the newspaper. but it sounds familiar; and it happens especially when tensions builds up and stress factor arrives earlier than the rest of the office staff. instead of bombs exploding and guns firing, what you get are intermittent sound of banging folders and box files, uncomprehensible murmurings and sharp gazes.
it is amazing how we managed to get through these quite dangerous exchange yesterday. though there were no physical injuries, emotions went up and down like roller-coaster and everybody held their breaths waiting for the next barrage of surprise attacks, leaving us all emotionally exhausted by the end of the day.
the cause of the conflict was really petty and immature for professionals. something like unequal work distribution. something like getting more than the fair share. (hello, is there ever such a case as equal work when there’s no such thing as equal pay?)…and following the job description to the last detail (hello again, can we no longer do a little bit more for the team without expecting something in return?) you see, though all of us are educated, we have different personalities and characters. and as such, different attitudes and behavior when it comes to work. most are dedicated. but some, though hard-working, are calculating and dissatisfied. they constantly see themselves as better than the rest. they are as driven in doing their jobs, as well as looking intently at how the others are doing theirs. and they are jealous whenever somebody else was appreciated for a better performance. they also see to it that their assignments are directly proportional with their salaries. as i look at them as human beings, i see sad souls trying to do what they are tasked to do, but never really knowing why. like dogs running around in circles trying to bite their tails. these are the kind who believes they are working their butts out to get to the top, so that when they reach it, then they will no longer be servants. but masters. ahhhh such pride!
on the other hand, there are those who are cheerful doers. they are usually the meek ones who are quite often taken advantage of, simply because they are good followers too. they often do the work, which the more aggressive ones boast and claim that they did. they are content with the position that they have, because they are somehow afraid of ‘heights’ and vast responsiblities. they are ready to assist, and oftentimes pleased with themselves that they are able to lend a hand. their needs are simple, and therefore, content and thankful that they are fortunate enough to have a job that provides them a paycheck by the end of each month. imagine what joy a bonus can bring to them! the aura of these kind of people exudes a bright atmosphere to a war-torn department and neutralizes the moral ambiguity and negativity that the other kind brings forth. these are the kind who serve with humility. who believes there is nothing shameful to be of service to others.
so you see, we don’t have to be in a war-torn nation to feel terrorized. but then again our positive perspective towards work can make a big difference in our life. just like yesterday. consider it as an opportunity to activate virtues of patience and perseverance. we wouldn’t know the level of tolerance that we have unless we are tried and tested. and if we are, it is always the best weapon to get back to basics and ask how God would have wanted us to retaliate.
it depends really on what side we are. if we belong to the mean group, the kind that sows terror and horror, well maybe we need some spritual revolution to jolt us out of the trap. like quicksand which entices us to box our way up the corporate ladder, never mind who gets hurt. but instead sucks us in, until we choke and drown into our own foolishness. bear in mind that, however others may trick us into thinking otherwise, it is always lonely at the top.
and for those who are always put down and looked down, there is consolation in the fact that when you’re at the bottom, there is no way but up. and there is joy in doing the task at hand, no matter how trivial it may seem. if it’s done for the glory of God, then it must be worthy and significant.