Lately I have been struggling to concentrate at work. There are several reasons for this. Chiefly because I wanted to explore a business idea, I accepted a role I’m overqualified for; in experience and professional qualification. At the time it seemed like a good idea. Get a less pressured job so you can concentrate on your passions – baking and writing. Simples. The one thing I didn’t bargain for was how distracting these passions would be during my day job. It has been an increasingly raging battle to do the right thing. The war within to plan cake orders or write a plot at work instead of data entry is overwhelming. Some days baking wins, most days my conscience wins.
Frequently, I’m haunted by a reverberating thought. When I own a bakery and I am employing people, would I want my staff concentrating on their work, which in turn allows me to pay their wages, or do I want to pay them for time they spent doing their personal agenda. That seems unfair doesn’t it? So my daily challenge is to do unto my employers as I would like others to do unto me.
I often find that life is enough of a teacher for us all as my recent experience will show you. I walked into my children’s room to find clothes strewn all over my son’s bed. I asked him to fold his clothes and he proceeded to fold some jumpers quite meticulously. At this point I must add that he’s only six years old and I wasn’t expecting tidy work, it was just the principle I wanted to get across. Bewildered I asked, ‘who taught you to fold clothes this way?’ I very much doubted his dad had. He proceeded to tell me a tale about how his dad took him to Gap with his sister to get some clothes. If you have ever been to Gap and Baby Gap, you’ll know that they have a culture of incessantly folding clothes because customers are allowed to touch their wares without restraint. And so my children observed a sales assistant doing her normal, mundane, everyday job of folding some shirts. I don’t even know if she saw or spoke to them, but now they both have a life skill without being taught formally. The wonderful outcome of that chance experience is that they are constantly looking for clothes to fold and they do so with such childlike excitement because they feel they are doing an adult job. Amazing considering that they are only four and six. It’s humbling to watch their enthusiasm for the simple things of life.
If you work at Gap and you constantly feel imprisoned by the unending pile of clothes left there by thankless customers who usually do not notice you. Please remember that as you fold those clothes, you never know how you may teach a child and change their outlook on life. Thank you for reminding me plainly that whatever my hands find to do, I must do it well.
Amidst the boredom, I am very grateful for my job because it pays the bills and I work with some very lovely people which makes a heck of a difference. I am now challenged by the Gap sales assistant to do my work with integrity. There are thousands of people who would give their right arm to get a job in the current climate. I better work with some gratitude. It’s going to take a lot of grace from above, but all things are possible. The other side of the story is finding your passion and getting paid to do it full time. That’s a post for another day. I’ll keep you updated. 🙂