Amendment

separation_of_church_and_work

My jobs have all been secular. I’ve never been employed, in any capacity, by a religious institution. I’ve worked with fellow church-members twice. At one company the coworker had ongoing issues with management. After working there a few years I was promoted to a floor supervisor position. This made me one of his immediate supervisors. The manager didn’t discuss things with the leads unless they were involved in whatever situation was at hand. So I wasn’t present for most of whatever conversations he was having in the office, and he and I didn’t discuss much of it. At some point he started talking with the pastor and a few of the men at the church. Not long after that I was at a party at church and one of the deacons asked me what I did for the company I worked for. Then he asked me if I knew the employee. Then he started telling me about a conversation that supposedly happened between my manager and the employee. I said, “I can’t talk about business matters.” When I said that, his reply was, “…well you can talk about here,” as though church was some sort of ‘safe-place’ where I was free to discuss my employer’s business.

No.

Hell no.

I was part of the management team at a, not-affiliated-with-the-church … had-absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-church-or-religion, secular business. Sharing what was discussed in the office, in the way these guys at church were implying I should, was a good way to lose my job. Risking that was just not on the table. These discussions were intrusive, and honestly the presumption of it all really pissed me off. As I drove home after that I said out loud, “I need separation of church and work!”

The church doesn’t have agency in outside affairs. Many Christians think it does, and dominionists want it to have absolute agency. They’re wrong. Or maybe the institution has the agency that people give it. I was never one of those people. Work was a separate part of my life from ‘church stuff.’ quote-matt-22-21

This coworker/employee/fellow church member and I had never been close. We weren’t friends. At best it was kind of a long-term acquaintance. He was someone I worked with, and for a while, someone I attended church with. I was angry, but I never confronted him or discussed the conversation I had had with the two deacons.

Later on my cell started ringing again, this time with the pastor asking about more things to do with the office. I became resentful, or more resentful of the employee after this, and began to distance myself further from him at work, except in my capacity as his supervisor. Some might say that I was disloyal to my ‘brother in Christ’ by not supporting him in whatever problems he was having with his managers.

Eventually I left that church. There were a number of reasons why, and while this wasn’t the primary one, it was definitely on the list.

When you’re part of Christianity, and perhaps in other religions, there’s a rule of sorts…maybe a commandment, that you’re to put the church and your fellow believers ahead of everything. It may be implied by the ‘greatest commandment’ from Matthew 22:36-40 that we’re to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and that we’re to love our neighbor as ourselves. There were many times, some might say most of the time, when I didn’t do this. I looked back…often. I didn’t put the church and my fellow believers first when it came to many things during my time as a Christian. I’ve never viewed my employment as part of ‘ministry.’ I wasn’t there for that. I wasn’t there to wear people down or catch them at a low point and sell them fire insurance. I wasn’t there for bible study. I was there to do a job and collect a paycheck so that I could pay my bills. You may say that I was never sincere. You wouldn’t be the first.

We judge each other based on the idea of constants. Life is about ebb and flow.

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Unsolicited bad grammar

USELESS OPINIONS

This is old news now, and Candidate Rubio’s grammar isn’t the issue. It’s actually a comedic distraction. Everyone who cares about grammar and usage, myself included, tried to correct and make fun of him instead of looking at the substance of what he said.

I’m not sure whether guidance counselors should hand graduating seniors a crystal ball or a magic 8-ball for picking out what they want to do after high school. Whether the boy or girl goes to Rubio Grammar 640community college, a university, vocational training, and/or bounces from job to job until he or she finds something that is a ‘good fit’…whatever they do, you cannot predict future job prospects.

The needs of any industry can change in a few months. Technological advances are being adopted faster and faster. Your vocational curricula could change directions before you complete your certifications. You have no control over that. However you can control how you respond to it.

I worked at a newspaper for nearly 20 years. During that time we went from cutting type out of sheets of velox paper, a job that did not require computer skills, to everyone having to learn to use a mouse. This was a major shift in technology and process, and valued skillsets became obsolete.

Why then are politicians pontificating as to what career choices people should make? Mr. Rubio’s ability to guess about the future of careers and industry is just as good or bad as everyone else’s. In other words, he doesn’t have a clue either.

I wouldn’t presume to tell you what career to pursue. That is for you to decide. What we need are conscious, thinking people who value life more than they do money, power, and control.

Strategy, not weakness

After 35-ish years in the workforce, I’ve dealt with companies changing hands and headcount reductions. It’s very stressful on many levels, pink slop cube 640and never ends up quite the way those in charge start out telling you. Opportunities that are suggested can disappear off the table the next day. When you’re working in a non-union setting/at-will setting you’re fortunate if you’re given any advance notice or reason why the change is happening.If the owners/upper management folks are decent, they’ll give you time to prepare for the adjustment.

And it will adjust.

During one or two of these business shifts I’ve had to deal with immediate supervisors who weren’t exactly truthful or were just being jerks. I was unable to respond in kind because I needed whatever severance package was being offered, and or to be laid off and not quit or be fired so that I wouldn’t have problems applying for unemployment once it was finally over.

I hated that…the needing.

When a job ends, the goal is always to get to the end with whatever final benefits in hand. So I’ve held my tongue in these situations, and some days it took a good deal more self control than others. The managers in question probably saw me as weak because I wouldn’t pop off and give them an excuse to let me go prematurely. I wasn’t a coward, I was playing my hand.

The Universe and Supposition

Denial Marketing First of all. I do not have a problem with people making money peddling coffee to small businesses. It’s probably just as good or bad as that standard industrial crap that most offices buy on contract. I have a problem with gimmickry and people’s denial where the state of our economy is concerned. Were in a recession, folks. it’s too late in the game to pretend we aren’t and it’s going to take years to come out of it.People are going to lose jobs and people are going to get voted out of office in the wake of this. That goes from POTUS to the Wall Street Credit Default Swappers (Stock Brokers) to the Fed all the way down to whatever’s passing for your local city council. To anyone who is able to make this kind of money what are you doing with it? That places you well near the top of middle income numbers so how much have you saved? Are your house and car paid off? Are you contributing to charity? How’s your tax situation? Have you set aside an emergency cash fund? How are your food stores looking? What’s the state of your vehicle maintenance? Do you see where I’m going with this? If your situation is such that you aren’t being directly affected (not having to choose between necessities) by the current economy then you should be well set for food shortages, major gasoline price hikes, ATM network failures, riots etc. If you want to call these people, call them. Make as much as you can while you can. Just understand that anyone who’s painting smiley’s on what’s happening is lying to you.