‘I don’t want to put any pressure on you but...’ ‘You’re intelligent, you pick up on stuff...you should really get involved.’
The weight of obligation in my workplace is like second nature to some of my coworkers. It seems that it somehow has become ingrained in how they operate towards me. Like this job should be my life’s work and I should really care about the union, it’s policies, ideals, and message. I know at times I have an ‘X’ on my back by some because I’m not pro-union, going to meetings, giving money to fundraisers or buying t-shirts to support this and that; but that doesn’t mean I’m against it either. I know the value of it and the good people who serve others through it. However, I’ve never been to a meeting and I probably never will. I don’t know the contract that I exist under and what the stances are. For example, what I’m entitled to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to when my bosses give out orders. I don’t put effort into the things most think I should when it comes to my ‘career’ at the post office. But that’s because that’s their view...not mine. Growing up there was three things I wanted to do with my life. Be a husband, be a father, and help people understand God better. That’s it. Every job I’ve ever had has been just that...a job. Not a career. I look at the things people around me quarrel and bicker about at work and I flat out can’t relate. It’s just not that important to me. When it comes down to it, my job is really just about moving mail. It’s paper. And it’s ink. That’s it. Bosses and union reps want to elevate it and make it a grand scheme. But it isn’t. And, ‘I’m supposed to really care about it!’ ...No thanks... I’ll keep working hard. I’ll keep my head down and not be part of the system of obligation. I’ll keep my head and heart on my wife, kids, and God. I’ll use this job as a way to support my family and ministry. I’ll continue to let my light shine in a dark place. I’ll pick others up when I see coworkers or management trying to infect others with fear, obligation, and guilt. Because I’m not part of this system, I’m just in it. Just like I’m not part of this world, I’m just in it. Thank God for this truth. I don’t know where I would be without it. It keeps me on an even keel in my head, knowing I can be okay being myself.
Being an outcast. And if this is true for me ...Then it’s true for you.
“I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” - John 17:14-19