Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Is This My Job?
That expression captures the frustration of work and duties when one’s time is running out. (For the rest of this post, I’m talking about civilian rather than military settings.) I think of the famous "parable of the talents" (Matt. 25:14-20), where the harsh master praises the initiative of the busiest servant and gives him more responsibilities. Depending on the circumstance, hard work does get you noticed and recognized. On the other hand, a person needs to be discerning: is this job really your responsibility? Should someone else be stepping up, too? Are you taking on more work than you can accomplish well?
I know a person who felt unappreciated and discouraged as time ran out on a difficult position, but the person tried to keep a good attitude and to keep involved in duties, to have integrity and character as a good worker. On the other hand, you might be the kind of person who likes to pitch in and get things done----but if people know you’re a good worker, they may try to give you more work and then criticize your performance while they themselves are slacking off! Implied in the expression "FIGMO" is a sense of shared responsibility.
Similar dynamics happen in other settings like churches, too. You may not have “orders” that take you away, but you do feel like saying “Forget it” if your church is rounding up the usual suspects for certain programs. And sometimes, it’s just an acquaintance who hasn’t planned well and now bosses you to help. I'm not as agreeable as I used to be to pitch in and help, because I know how good will can backfire.
You do need wisdom and firmness, so you don’t feel taken advantage of or taken for granted in different situations---and yet know that, overall, you’re striving for your best.