In this website, you can find my personal testimony on how I try to put God in the Workplace and an article down below on why we should and how.
My Resume website has my long job-work experience. Each job had different motivations to work-money for baseball cards, save for college, pay for my car, pay bills, etc… With each work had different experiences-learned how to take care of kids, meet culturally diverse ethnic/racial groups, became more aware of cancer, gain experience related to my college major/field, learn from adults about life, get exposed to the developmentally disabled adult populations, etc… Through all this I’ve made friends and enemies in the past. Now, I’ve learned how to forgive my enemies after coming to a growing personal relationship with God.
I was an RA from 97'-98 during my junior year in college to help build my self-confidence through this leadership building experience. It was more than just a self-confidence builder to me, but a "faith" builder too! I grew in my "faith" and dependence on God a lot during this 1 year life-time experience. I encountered many issues that I never thought or would experience, which was totally a different perspective of college-life when I was just a "regular" resident for 2 years of Clayton A. Gay Hall. I dealt with alcohol, racism, and all sorts of life-applicable issues to get to where I am right now (see RA Experience-step by step! I would've not been able to make it (especially the Fall Quarter-semesters now) if it wasn't my personal relationship with my "Savior" and I mean "SAVIOR"-Jesus Christ!
My "savior" as an RA
Why? He helped me through the many problems that I couldn't handle on my own! Besides my personal devotional time in prayer and reading the Bible, I was involved in a hall prayer group. A couple RA's, residents, and I would pray together once a week for our residents, fellow RA's, RD's, hall, and campus overall (including a "Jericho Walk" [picture]). I was able to just give all my worries (Mt 6), burdens (Mt 11:28), and prayer requests (Philippians 4:6) during this encouraging time as a group of believers. Also, I participated in other weekly fellowships; like IVCF, IVCF Men's Small Group, and local church.
"Where Are You Spiritually?"-Floor Weekly Program
Somewhere in Fall Quarter to Winter Quarter, God touched a fellow believer-resident's heart to organize a weekly floor gathering called "Where Are You Spiritually?". I couldn't initiate a "religious" activity, so he spearheaded it and I just advertised it. The first week (I wasn't present), this resident would lead the group and shared his personal testimony up front. It was a time to start planting seeds of faith by questioning where people are at with God. The next week that I was able to attend, a resident shared her own cultural religion, which we were opened to hear. The first couple weekly sessions were very intimate that brought some tears and openness-a credit to hall weekly prayer! Unfortunately-mabye God willingly-the weekly floor program kind of went down. However, I beleive it was a season for our floor to get a little closer to build that relationship that sticked together to make my RA job a lot easier after that-Praise God!
What Happened After?
I personally ended up attending a similar fellowship, but it was on Friday evenings that a group of "minorities" gathered. The UMM Football Assistant Coach at the time was spearheading this group. From here, a former resident and I ended up forming "Alpha & Omega"-a predominately African American: multiculturally focussed Christian group (now "Chi Alpha") the following year. Now, I helped with reaching out to international students for my local church and UMM Alpha as a cross-cultural resource ministry. Also, I'm a Consumer Counselor at a local group home.
This is probably the longest job I’ve had so far, until next year when I’m with my current job with Prairie Community Services: Ravenwood Home-working with developmentally disabled adults. I’ve joked around that I’ve worked long at this fast food restaurant long enough to write a book of my experience here. Well, this might becoming a prelude to this someday. I got into the fast food because I was desperate for a job after getting tired of working (e.g. cleaning, painting, lawn-mowing, etc…) for my dad. He invested in some rental houses in the inner-city of St. Paul awhile back before high school (year?), which my family would help with some of the labor work. I found this job at Taco Bell through my good friend-still friend-Sean, who graduated with me from Harding Senior High School in St. Paul. What made this job convenient was the ideal location-2 blocks away from my house in East St. Paul. I, like any job applicant, filled an application. Then I persisted in getting it by calling and stopping over in-person to schedule an interview. Of course, I got help with the referral from my friend. I just shared this with a new co-worker (group home) yesterday (9/12/03)-I wanted to quit the first day because of getting tired (wasn’t use to this type of work-standing around for consecutive hours-4 only!)! But, my mom encouraged me to stick with it! I then came back the next day and unexpectedly would work for another 4+ years (1993 fall-1997 summer). I would work the weekends when I attended high school my junior to senior year. I met some great people there, which I’ve seen now and then when I go visit my family in the cities. I remember the times we would joke around in the back of the kitchen area and front area during the slow-break times. Our supervisor would rather have us catch-up before another rush, but we had times that we just wanted to fool around-high school times! We would love to do practical jokes on the new people, like they did to me when I first worked there. They were a test to see how smart they are, like telling them to water the green “fake-plastic” plants in the dinning room! Another would be secretly-slyly putting ice down their big uniform pants’ pockets. Their reaction to this would test them if they could take a joke-cool or uncool! There are many count-less stories that I can or can’t write (see “Racism: Neo-Nazi” story….)
There were co-workers, I would easily get along, like this shift-manager that would talk with me about how school or family is doing. Like some jobs, there is always that one or few that would not make me look forward to coming to a shift to work. There was this guy that I went to school with that worked there, and he somehow just didn’t like me-I was very studious and above average academically (grades wise only) in my high school. He would just want to taunt me or just make my shift miserable for some reason. I didn’t know how to deal with him back then, so I just ignored him as I was very passive and quiet/shy. I think I blew-up one time and surprised him, but that was probably my only time I reacted negative to him. I held a grudge and hated him throughout high school. As I reflect on this guy by writing this-I finally ask God for forgiveness for my attitude toward this guy-“forgive him for he does not know what he is doing”-Luke 23:34.
Back then, I wondered who long I was going to work there and there were many times I felt like quiting! As I look back at my years at Taco Bell, I’ve learned to understand why God let me worked all those years there. It was like a preperation time/season in my life to mold me to do what I do now, which is ministering to all types of people for Christ at and outside of this college town. God has really molded my heart to reach all people (Matthew 28:19)-especially multiculturally diverse (eg. international students)
Currently, I work at a group home for developmentally disabled adults at Motown-Morris, Minnesota! I’ve grown and will continue to do so after working here for 4+ years. I’ve learned many day to day life skills that I never got from my school work all these years-cooking variety of dishes, barbecuing, learning wisdom from the older adults that has lived life longer than me, and a greater increasing passion and sensitivity for handicapped developmentally disabled adults or younger.
I can keep working-up the “job-ladder” to gain more experience for a higher career in life, but for all what? I’ve worked hard all my life in getting good grades to get to the next step-preschool, elementary, juinor/middle-high school, senior high school, college, and maybe-graduate school? My job experience is like that, maybe not through my pay wage/salary, but change/mold me to become more of a better person-a man of God-Christ’s likeness to be a brighter light to the world (e.g. family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc…)
Bringing Jesus to the Workplace
From: Pat Franey, Pastor of MCC-e-mail forward
Subject : Announcements
Date : Tue, 18 Nov 2003 12:58:17 -0600
2. "I QUIT!!" A survey on attitudes in the workplace. Paul said in Philipians 4.13 that "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength". What an awesome verse! It's good to remember though, that he had learned the "secret of being content" (verse 12) in any situation (whether in need or plenty). As Christians, what should our attitude be toward our work and our supervisor(s) be? (or our situation at home if that is where God has us). Do we complain and grumble? Or learn to be content, and pray for our boss?
Below is an Article CNN did based on a survey of employee satisfaction:
November 12, 2003: 9:42 AM EST
By Leslie Haggin Geary, CNN/Money Staff Writer
New York (CNN/Money) - READY TO QUIT? YOU HAVE PLENTY OF COMPANY.
Many employees are overworked, stressed out, fed up -- and eager to quit their jobs once the economy picks up. In fact, worker angst is so pronounced that it has surprised even the most tuned-in human resource professionals.
Consider, for example, that more than eight in 10 workers plan to look for a new job when the economy heats up, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Professionals. While there's a difference between looking for a new gig and actually jumping ship, that kind of number is "very, very high," says SHRP spokesman Frank Scanlon
How did things get so bad?
To be sure, the economy hasn't helped. Cash-strapped employers have been cutting back on benefits like health care, paid vacations and retirement benefits.
Belt tightening is one thing; greed is another. In an era of Enron, mutual fund scandals and ludicrous CEO pay packages, employees know the difference, says Jeff Taylor, founder and CEO of Monster.com.
"Companies behaving badly" have been all too common during the downturn, according to Taylor.
"You have the greed of executive management and great inequities from your lowest-paid worker to your highest-paid worker," he says. "Companies are not giving out raises. Benefits have been cut. That's an environment where the employers call the shots."
The threat of pink slips has prompted plenty of people to work scared and to give everything to their jobs. Overtime isn't that uncommon anymore. Nearly 40 percent of all workers spend at least 50 hours on the job per week.
"Employees have hunkered down through the downturn," said the SHRP's Scanlon. "They're going to start looking aggressively."
Heading for the door Take the case of David Garrison, 40, a facilities manager who worked for an oil company for 20 years before he finally called it quits.
Pulling 60-hour weeks was normal for the Los Angeles father of two. That's because he was expected to do much of the work of five other peers who had been fired. The message: Don't complain or you'll lose your job, too. So Garrison kept his mouth shut - and paid a price.
By the time he did quit a little over a year ago, he had to swallow anti-anxiety prescriptions to get through the day. When he did care for himself -- and took a second sick day within a six-month period -- he was called in for a "counseling" session by his employer, who warned him not to take too much time away.
"It was infuriating," he recalls.
Infuriating but not uncommon, judging by the e-mail postings on worker-geared Web sites like Ihatemyjob.com that have flourished in recent years as a way for beleaguered employees to vent.
Meanwhile, labor-friendly movements - such as the Center for a New American Dream's effort to simplify lives and the Work To Live Web site, which exhorts workers to lobby lawmakers for change - are gaining momentum.
"I get flooded with e-mails from people, and you get a sense of the desperation," says Work to Live's founder and author Joe Robinson. "People have been traumatized by the last 15 years of downsizing and the last few years of recession. Everyone's afraid they'll be next."
The high cost of desperation "In the last 15 years I've had a total of four weeks of vacation," writes one woman in a typical posting found on the Work to Live site. "We receive no paid vacation, no paid holidays and no paid sick leave. . . .I used to have three people in my office doing what I do. Now there is just me. . . . I can't keep going like this."
Now there may be a glimmer of hope for some. The most recent job report from the Labor Department shows that employers are finally adding to their payrolls. And human resource managers are bracing for a stampede.
Gerald Ledford, senior vice president at Sibson Consulting, notes that if 16 percent of workers do leave their jobs - as his firm predicts - that will match the high turnover rates of the late 1990's, when employees hop scotched from job to job.
"It's a very expensive problem," says Ledford.
For example, a national clothing chain must sell 3,000 pairs of $35 khakis to cover the price of replacing a salesperson who quits, including recruiting, training and lost productivity.
The tab to replace a typical white-collar middle manager runs about $100,000.
"We're a few good breaths away from being back at a lower unemployment rate," says Monster's Jeff Taylor. "Companies can limit their exposure by saying 'Thank you' and recognizing the good work people have done for them.
"But I think generally this is where companies have a pretty big miss in this area."
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