A Tale of Two Employees

Debbie is a teacher in a small, public school district outside of Boston.  Due to projections of fewer students next year, she has been told (In March) that she will not be renewed for the following year.  She decides to finish the year, keep her options open and show up to work every day with a smile.

Ken is a 2nd year man who has also been told that his position is being eliminated.  Rather than a case of RIF (Reduction in Force) as was applicable to Debbie, Ken has been told that he has not lived up to expectations and has not performed well.  His at-will contract doesn't give him much wiggle room and he must look for work elsewhere.  Rather than finish the year with dignity, Ken bad-mouths his employer, spreads rumors and begins to miss work days every so often.

If you can relate to either of these tales, you're not alone.  I've worked with Debbies and Kens over the years and it's never easy to know that your story is about to end at a particular organization.  The dreams you once had for success in that school/business/venue come to a halt rather quickly.


I cannot comment on the faith foundation of either Ken or Debbie- no idea!  What I can tell you is that Debbie ended her time in school with dignity.  She found something bigger than herself to retain her self-worth.  She found the spiritual in the midst of the mundane.

Fr. Richard Rohr once said, "The spiritual world is hidden and perfectly revealed in the physical world." and Debbie, on some level has tapped into this.  So how do you avoid being a Ken and be more like Debbie?  Here are three suggestions:

  1. God closes some doors and simultaneously opens others. You might not see the opportunities that God has in store, but they are real. Chin up and ask God to open your eyes.  There might be slivers of light coming through the trees that are ready for you to see.  I've seen this in my own life time and time again.

  2. Work is still sacred. By bagging it on the job (Ken), it's a bit of an insult on so many levels.  It insults your employers, those you serve and you can even make the case that it bothers God.

  3. Finishing a year with dignity is uber-productive. You'll feel great, knowing that you closed open loops, got the job done and laughed in the face of those who expected you to cave.  Look at it as a personal challenge rather than a knock on your self worth.

Shoot me an email or follow me on Twitter (thedailysaint).  I'd love to hear your story of finishing the year with style and spiritual vigor!

*Photo by ViaGallery