Dealing with Privileged Employees, Workplace Skills

Boss’ Pet: Dealing with Favorites in the Workplace

The new hire was rather charming. Despite living in the frigid north, he had a sort of laid-back surfer air about him and didn’t seem to take anything too seriously. He smiled constantly, laughed frequently, and had just enough “individuality” to have fit in well with our staff… if he had really wanted to.
Unfortunately, he made it quite clear from the beginning that he played by his own set of rules. And these rules frequently failed to fall in line with company policy. Those of us who had been with the company for a while attempted to gently instruct him, but when his antics began to endanger both staff members and the company revenue, it was decided that the situation needed to be addressed to our manager.
I spent several hours reviewing the situation, rehearsing what I intended to say and ensuring that it sounded as generous as possible, then scheduled a meeting with my department head. Much to my surprise, my boss informed me that we all needed to back off and stay out of the matter. While I had never seen my employer as a particularly prejudiced man, the unfairness of the situation was obvious and it was not long before most of the staff members were freely expressing their resentment towards both the boss and the “boss’ pet.”
While at some point in life, you’ve probably been informed that “life isn’t fair”, it can take the workplace to bring this proverb into sharp relief. King Solomon once said that, “There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.” (Ecclesiastes 8:14) The truth is that, in a world corrupted by sin, righteousness is not always rewarded and evil is not always punished.
As Christians, we know that our perspective on this reality ought to be distinctly different from the rest of the world, but that doesn’t always make the situation an easy one; sometimes it can take all of our strength just to keep from blowing a fuse!
What do we do when we see someone “getting away with murder”? How do we handle inconsistencies in the way our employer handles members of the staff? And when do we back off and simply allow such unjust favoritism to take its course?
We’ll be looking at the answers to these questions over the coming weeks. In the mean time, feel free to share your own experienced dealing with a “boss’ pet” in the comment box below.

Work Ethic, Workplace Issues

Work Ethic: Cultivating Perspective through Community

Hebrews 4:15 tells us that, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin.” That means that there isn’t anything happening to us at our jobs that Christ didn’t experience, Himself. Consider this: Jesus went through His adult life without a home, exposed to heat and to cold, abandoned by His friends, falsely accused by His enemies, and left to clean up a mess He didn’t make in the first place! (And you thought it was a pain having to mop up in the produce department!) The only One who was ever truly alone in any experience was Christ when He bore our sins on the cross.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 tells us that, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” All of us have had difficulty seeing the “big picture” at some point in our lives and, in many ways, that’s what makes Christian fellowship so important – yes, I do mean church. When we take the time to associate with other Believers, we gain the added perspective of those who live outside of our own situation as well as the faithful support of those who have been there before.

According to the Apostle Paul, “…there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:20-26) When you make church and/or Sunday School and/or Youth Group a priority you’ll be tapping one of the most potent aids for “big picture thinking” with which God has provided us. Sometimes just knowing that you have the love and support of others is enough to give you the perspective that you’re lacking.

The ultimate in “big picture thinking,” however, requires us not only to let go of our struggles, but also to make a conscious effort to recognize our blessings. This goes beyond taking time to develop relationships with those who share your experience and can help guide and encourage you as you navigate the rough spots. We’ll take a look at this type of thinking next week, but for now, feel free to share about some ways that Christian fellowship has impacted your own perspective on trials in the workplace!