We make our very first ice cream in our new ice cream maker and I can’t help but be reminded of my second job (my first job was a 2-month stint in a thermoplastics plant) after I graduated from college and took the ChE Licensure Exams (this was over two decades ago :-)). It was a dream job for me – working in the Quality Assurance Department of an ice cream factory. A large food processing company, one where I also had my practicum during college (and where I met my husband), bought a local ice cream brand, and I was one of those who were deployed in the former owner’s plant during the transition period.
Being a newly-grad, I was overflowing with enthusiasm to do my job. The old ice cream plant reeked of technical problems that affected the quality of the product and overall efficiency of production. Because of these, I made several practical innovations in some of the processes, like stabilizing the cooling temperature and shortening the cooling time, etc. I also made improvements in the data monitoring and recording systems, and I discussed and taught these things to whoever was new and assigned in the production line.
I was also overly eager to make reports of all the observations and problems that I and my colleagues encountered, not forgetting to enumerate my recommendations. And thus, I did.
I had to learn at that early stage of my career the heartbreak competition in the workplace brought. Apparently, it wasn’t that easy to perform finely and be well-accepted by everyone at the same time. I learned painfully that it wasn’t only me who had big dreams in the field, and because of that, I encountered the “ugliness” of competition.
When I was in college, I picked up a line in a movie which goes this way: “Competition brings out the worst in the human animal.”
And I do believe that this is true in most cases. And there is also a well-known proverb in our country, one that speaks of “crab mentality”. We know the crabs, that if one of them is trying to climb to the top, another one would promptly come to pull it down.
Controversies, dishonesty, pride, ganging up, hostilities, unfairness… – all these affected me and made me cry. So I quit.
Looking back now, I know that if I were a born-again Christian then, everything would have been different, because I do believe that a life walking closely in the Spirit and guided by the Word of God is a different life altogether.
Well, I am talking about these things now not because I am still active in my profession, for fact is, I have prematurely retired due to my illness and have fully surrendered my life to the Lord. But I thought of sharing these things believing that I might impart some words of wisdom, so to speak, to one who is struggling in the workplace.
Wherever we find ourselves in – whether in relationships, in the community, in the workplace, or in the industry we do business in – it’s really hard to be alone, fully relying on our own strength, abilities, and intellect. But if the Spirit of the Lord is in us, we rely on its wisdom and guidance, and we learn to deal with the challenges that we encounter in our work with grace and courage.
One godly virtue that stands out in my mind now which I believe could change our whole situation in our work is – HUMILITY. If we have learned this and we truly have it in our hearts, we are out of the clutches of pride and competition. A humble spirit can dwell peaceably with any kind of personality.
There are rewards in embracing humility (and keeping the Lord’s commandments overall):
Obtain God’s grace
…Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (1 Pet. 5:5)
Gain riches, honor, life
Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility. (Prov. 18:12)
By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life. (Prov. 22:4)
Gain leadership and superiority
I guess we’ve been so enthusiastic with our new ice cream maker that we made another batch – chocolate fudge ice cream. It’s a hit with the whole family :-)!
I thank the Lord for His Spirit – a constant, comforting Companion.
My little Tim singing Michael W. Smith’s Agnus Dei. Although lisping through the lyrics, he does it fervently.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise… (Psalm 8:2 NIV1984)
For my blog followers, visitors, readers, and all of your heartwarming comments. I thank the Lord Jesus for the blessed opportunity to minister to you, and I do value the connection and friendship.
For flowers that continue to bloom in the garden. And although they are not in profusion, I still admire their beauty, one that only God could paint perfectly.
Participating with Multitudes on Mondays at A Holy Experience.