JOB SATISFACTION By M.

Binion

I started thinking about work. Actually I think about work a lot because most of us spend a lot of time at work (if we’re fortunate). I was raised in a working class home where you went to work every day and did the best job you could. When the time presented itself you retired. You were grateful to be working. You made friends with a few people at the job, you commiserated with your colleagues when the road got rough, and used your weekends for enjoyment and whatever household duties didn’t get done through the week. I had a job I loved unequivocally for a long time and a supervisor I hated just as strongly. The nature of the job began to change and I no longer felt satisfaction in my work. That fact coupled with the fact that I wasn’t making a living wage prompted me to seek other employment which I was able to secure. The new job was just that: a job. I accepted this job because of the promotional and income earning potential it presented. (Note: it took four years for the potential to really manifest.) The job was stressful and the people I was now working with were not nearly as smart, kind or dedicated as the former coworkers. In fact they often reminded me of cigarette smoke, you didn’t want to get too close to them because their attitudes had a stench and you didn’t want the stench in your clothes.

This entity hired a lot of people at the same time and a few of us that became close reasoned out that the job was stressful because they had recently switched from one service model to another. We concluded that once people became adjusted to the new system all would be well. Well many years later the system was no longer new but the stress was still there. Many staff went out on medical leave. Unfortunately several staff members had strokes while at work. One of the people that had gotten sick at work was fortunate enough to have a supervisor that had tried to help his family facilitate paperwork and to check up on him and keep in contact so that he wouldn’t feel abandoned and that no one remembered him. The former worker appreciated it and what was surprising is that most of the staff did too. I thought about his job. The one he had served so diligently, they had someone else doing it of course because he had been ill a long time and they didn’t know if he would be able to return. The person who filled his position was nice and hardworking enough but just like Vanna with the letters, the task involved was more difficult than it appeared looking on the outside. What struck me as well was that he had really liked his job and missed it greatly, not just the paycheck and fellowship but the work itself. I admired him for his dedication and I was sorry that he hadn’t found a more appreciative employer. I for the life of me couldn’t imagine anyone feeling that way about our employer and then it occurred to me maybe he wasn’t the one that had been in the wrong place. Maybe it was me. I did my job and tried to learn it so that I wouldn’t be a liability to my employer but did I serve with the same joy that I had with my previous employer? No. I reasoned out maybe it was time for me to start searching for a place where I could serve not just ably but happily

JUSTIFIABLY LOCKED By M. Binion

One morning I was running late. Yes, that is a little unusual. Well, on the particular morning in question I didn’t sleep particularly well and I needed a cup of coffee. As I walked through the parking lot I saw the familiar tail lights of my car and I walked toward it. I hit my key fob and when I reached the car, I grabbed the door handle but nothing happened. I pushed the fob again thinking that I had probably mashed it again without realizing it. I kept mashing and mashing it and nothing was happening. Well, I thought I’ll use the key and try to stop the alarm when I get in. Well the key didn’t work. When I looked at the car, really looked at it, I realized I had stopped one car short of my own. My car was the next one over. As I took a closer look there sat my darling sweetheart (with doors unlocked I might add) Whew was I ever grateful. I got in and made it to work in a safe and timely manner. However, the incident started me to thinking. How many times in my life had I done what I had done that morning: trying to open the door with the wrong key? I don’t necessarily mean in a literal sense of using the wrong key but more in the figurative sense. Sure there are myriad of people who just add new keys to their key ring when they get locks changed or move somewhere they don’t take the old keys off or there are those people at work that have keys to various storage rooms and file cabinets using the wrong key for the lock in question could be a rather frequent occurrence. But I was

actually thinking metaphorically, how many times in my life had I tried to push a door open that wasn’t for me to open, whether it was a job opportunity or a career choice or forming a relationship, whatever the circumstance. How often had I tried to with sheer force of will to command the door to open and it wouldn’t budge? In one instance I had tried unsuccessfully for several years to open a particular door and for the majority of that time, it never occurred to me that I wasn’t supposed to open that door. The more firmly shut it appeared to be, the more determined and resolute I became that I was going to open it. I wonder how much of our lives are spent like that? How often do we try to make something happen that isn’t really ours to make happen? One night I was watching a popular show featuring several extremely successful entrepreneurs that were providing venture capital. One contestant on the show kept trying to convince the person who wasn’t interested to become interested. As the group was giving their decision, yay or nay, one of the people spoke up and asked the contestant why he had wasted so much time trying to convince the person who wasn’t interested at all that the idea was great but invested little or no time engaging the people who had shown an interest in his project? It seemed like an epiphany aimed straight at me. Why was I wasting time trying to get results from doors that were closed to me instead of unlocking the doors for which I had the keys? Good question for me and possibly for others as well.

BETTER NOW THAN NEVER By M. Binion The thing about procrastination is that is perfectly acceptable. For example quite a few of us indicate that we are going to clean out our closets and drawers and de-clutter our lives and our spaces. When we look at the enormity of the job ahead we decide to wait awhile. Often we think to ourselves it’s impossible to do. Let me tell you what, when you get ready to move, those closets will be clean one way or another and a lot of sacrificial lambs in the forms of sweaters, shoes and sports equipment and the like will be sacrificed with very little thought or regret. The trouble is because procrastination is a very common and acceptable practice; we often ignore its pitfalls. Time remedies a lot of items on the procrastinators list. For instance if there is a new restaurant in town if you keep delaying making a reservation the doors could be shut by the time you decide to make a move.. Or when a play comes to town it has a limited run. When you finally contact the box office and the tickets are sold out, the problem has been solved. That is not really a viable solution for the major issues of our lives even though we sometimes behave as if it is. Waiting to begin proper nutrition habits and an exercise program can often result in serious often life threatening health complications and it’s amazing how that thirty minute walk in the evening that seemed so impossible for you to begin when you felt reasonably well becomes vitally important to you when you are recovering from an illness. There are those of us that determine we are going to visit a relative that would appreciate hearing from us and then with what appears suddenness to us the person dies and we are faced with yet another opportunity lost to us. If we stop lamenting about how

much we don’t want to be bothered and just go ahead and get the thing done at least we make some progress. There are a lot of people dong difficult responsible things every day and I’m certain a fair amount of them are not singing “Oh happy day” So while procrastination may be acceptable, it’s not advisable.

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