The workplace speaks

Tim here. I’m processing a bit of workplace criticism I took this week. It was one of those conversations where a friend brought up things “that people are saying.” Some of it was fine – disagreement about some workplace decisions. Stuff like that’s always cool for discussion and debate, although it’s not good communication to send it anonymously by a third party.

But then there were the sweeping critiques of me as an individual, including “putting too much time into the wrong things, and not enough into (the job).”

“The wrong things” is pretty clearly code for family care giving needs.

I’m not going to say much right now. Like I said, I’m processing, intellectually and emotionally. Holding a couple of jobs and care giving at home generally means that nobody gets 100% of what they want from me. I’ve owned that, in all venues, any number of times. And frankly, by most measures, the work I’m pulling off under less than ideal conditions is pretty darn good.

I’m sure I can’t be the first care giver to get grief for care giving. Anybody else catch this stuff in the workplace? How did you choose to deal with it?

7 thoughts on “The workplace speaks

  1. You may remember me Father, I came with Phillip Thompson’s class and then have been back a few times on Thursday. I am familiar with what you are going through. I just bit the bullet and went on doing what I could the best I could. Until. I retired three weeks ago after 25 yrs at my church here. Good people all but I had had a good run as pastor and many things led to that decision but one of them was the fact that I wanted to be a husband to my wife before I was anything else. So far I am enjoying myself. I learned that you can never do enough. There will always be someone who thinks that you should do more. I just lived with it and walked on. It hurt but I saw no other way. I just told my wife that I was not feeling very well this morning but the joy of that is “I do not have to answer to anyone for what I do with my time today. That is the best relief I have had in ages. I will pray for you. I promise.

    • Jesse, “may remember you”? You’re one of those unforgettable folks! God bless you for coming out of retirement to share this good word of encouragement with me. It is deeply appreciated this morning. May God bless your days.

  2. I usually try to reframe ‘discussions’ (I’ll be charitable) like this in terms of vocation. We don’t like to use that term anymore in American parlance; if we do it is usually in some condescending way like “vocational track” courses in high school, i.e. shop class for dumb kids. We certainly have lost the language of vocation in terms of marriage. But vocation is basically one’s calling.

    Regardless of what anyone says, family is always-repeat ALWAYS-one’s first and primary vocation. You can assert that via many different tracks, a la biological, theological, economic, etc. Family is the most important thing. Jobs are not. Jobs support us and our family and add to our lives worth and dignity, but jobs support families. Secular jobs are not our family. You can change jobs, but you can’t change your family. You may be called to be a plumber or even an ordained person, but your first vocation is to your family, both your biological family and the Body of Christ family.

    If someone is saying you are putting your vocation of family first, it seems to me that you have your head screwed on correctly, and they do not. 100 years from now, no one will care whether you did this or did that on a job you currently had. It will be important if you cared for your family enough that the family survived. While you may not be remembered specifically at that time, your family will still be alive. Family is the most important vocation; anyone who tells you otherwise has a distorted view of what it means to be human.

  3. I don’t recall getting criticized at my workplace for needing to care for Sarah. (I work for some very understanding(or tight lipped) people.) I have been criticized for parenting choices. For example, “Your other child needs you too.” Not usually followed with, “Can I watch Sarah for an hour while you spend time with her sister?” I’ve gotten to where I mostly blow the comments off because they come from people too ignorant to know better.

  4. Pingback: What can we do about the deficit? | Sometimes Care Giving Stinks

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