Monday, December 08, 2008

Thoughts from the Job Front. . .

Amazingly, somehow four weeks flew by and so did my on-the-job training. Last night was my first "official" night in my position, meaning now I can get in "official" trouble if I mess up too badly. Or, conversely, if I do really well, then all the credit is mine, mine, mine.

Thankfully, I really like my job. The time goes insanely fast. I worked six hours last night, and called the Mister on my break, 3 hours into the shift. He asked me how it was going, and I realized that I felt like I had only been there about 15 minutes. That's a good thing, as I've had jobs where the shift dragged on and on and on. The second 3hours felt like they were only 15 minutes as well.

I was trained by two very nice, very young women who completely restored my faith in the young adults of America. Which is a good thing, because that faith was severely shaken by some of the youth in my training class. Apparently, everyone in the company had heard about the antics of some of my peers, so I felt better in knowing their behavior shocked those seasoned in working with "The Young and The Dumb," as my mother so lovingly refers to the years between 18-24.

A new dynamic for me is that I am now the "Old Lady" in my department. Very humbling. Last night, for instance, my coworkers were listing places where they worked, and they named a local lawn-and-garden store.

"Hey! I worked there! Shirley was my manager too!" I piped up, remembering my summer working there.

"Cool! Maybe we know some of the same people! When did you work there?" they asked.

"1994." Yikes. That sounds like a loooong time ago, even to me.

Dead. Silence.

Until lil' Mr. Metal Mouth piped up. "Oh, man. I was just 3 in 1994. Ha ha ha!"

Apparently, someone forgot to teach Brace Face here some manners in his mere 17 years of life.

But I laughed, as I have a good sense of humor, and I have lots of crow's feet which I lovingly call "laugh lines" to prove it.

In all seriousness, though, one area where I do not mind at all being the "older" gal on the job is because I have a lot more patience and/or tolerance for the temperaments of clients than my younger peers.

During my first call in which I was at the receiving end of a woman venting her frustrations, I just politely listened. And tried to figure out a way to help her. Because I could hear the honest and sheer frustration in her voice. I don't think she meant to come across as a major witch.

The gal listening on the line with me, however, did not share that viewpoint. She didn't want to budge an inch, and instead suggested some rather combative things for me to say.

Which I wouldn't. "But, Sarah," the coworker said, "Garbage in, garbage out," she explained to me.

True. Very true.

But at the same time, "Kindness out, kindness in."

I don't share a huge amount of my faith, but this is one area in which I feel that becoming a Christian has really helped me be a better person. If I believe in Christ, then I accept the belief that we are ALL God's children.

There is no "in crowd" with God. He loves us all equally. We are all equally precious. Doesn't matter the color, gender, orientation, creed. He doesn't love that woman on the phone any less than He loves me. A Muslim is no less precious to Him than I, a Christian, am. He loves Barack as much as He loves McCain as much as He loves W. Because we are ALL His children.

Even Mr. Metal Mouth who obviously was not taught to respect his waaaayyyy older elders--God loves him too.

When I approach situations from that viewpoint, I find my patience and tolerance of others increase exponentially. Even for the girl who is sitting next to me, encouraging me to be less-than-gracious on a phone call. That's just where she is right now in life. And she's loved and precious too.

There is so much in this world that makes us feel "less than." Others put their opinions and values and judgments upon us and the result is that we feel unloved. Some of us become depressed. Some become enraged. Some become withdrawn. Some fight back. But it's all coming from that same place of feeling unloved.

So call me crazy, but I'm quite thankful for the opportunity I have before me. That maybe in my 'lowly' position of working customer service in a call center, even I have the ability to make one other person feel better than they were feeling prior to to speaking with me.

I surely will not always succeed. Admittedly, I will not always remember, but at least every opportunity is a chance for me to try again. It's a beautiful thing how every one of us--no matter what judgments are placed upon us--can make someone else, for just a moment, feel valued and loved. Even if, by society's measures, that person doesn't "deserve" to feel so at that moment.

Even sassy Mr. Metal Mouth. (God has to help me with that one, though.)


Anonymous said...

My Dearest Wife,
As usual, you display the qualities I love about you, which includes the size and depth and strength of both your heart and mind.
Please continue to display those wonderful qualities, especially when your husband's best effort yields your son singing a song about shooting people, stealing money, and somehow eluding the message that was stressed (we do not want to act like bad guys).

-"Is that Braveheart?" Mr.

Deb Pagel said...

After reading your post, it reminded so much of what our speaker spoke about at our tea. It went something like this; "When the Sun,(which represents the light of God), reflects off the water, (which represents God's Word), a beautiful prism of color is created."
What you have written today is a great example of a prism of God's work; to not just read and know God's Word, but to apply and live it in every moment of your life is the light and water reflecting God's prism in you. Bless you.

Love you,

This Mama said...

Great post Sarah, really great post and I am glad to hear your enjoying your job (or, at least the shifts move quickly).

I read your Mr.'s comments up above...and was he by any chance singing "Paper airplanes"? I too love that song and it acctually is about misconceptions of minorities who immigrate to the USA - from what I remember..."all I want to do is a ---- and take your money". So it is not about bad guys, it is about anti-racism (I thought)so I let my guys sing it too but I drive them all nuts by explaining the meaning to them all the time.

Jen said...

Isn't it fun to be the old one in the crowd? Ugh...I swear every time I am at the Y I am the oldest by 10 years and have to run my flat butt off while watching perky 20 year olds flirt with other perky 20 year olds....

small town girl said...

Very funny story. Great post. God's love is so awesome and it humbles me. I can't even emulate it in real life towards my fellow humans with any consistancy, and yet His is never-ending. It blows my mind everytime I think about it.

Sawatzky Kids said...

Great post Sarah! Glad to hear you are enjoying your work so far even with those young sassy whipper snapppers surrounding you! ;)
Shelly and crew

bbbunch said...

Of course you enjoy your job, Sarah! You have a beautiful outlook on life and you will find the good in any situation...even Metal Mouth!!! It's one of the reasons I count you as one of my best friends :) I always repeat in my mind the story of Jesus saying whatever you do for the lowest of men, you do to me. Puts things into perspective...he died for THEM too!
Love ya,