Anger at Work
I’ve been frustrated at work for a number of months now. One of my job assignments is to drive improvements in the factory according to the ISO 9001 Standard. Once a year we have an audit, and to fail the audit would mean losing our automotive component business. Every year we go through the same difficulties we do every year. Engineering is too busy to participate in corrective actions and process improvements. Management is stretched too thin to think about minor procedure changes; they just keep saying, “Why do we need to changes these things we’ve been doing for years?” Production is always driving to get parts produced and shipped and is impatient with improvement initiatives.
I am affirmed by my boss, that I am doing a good job, but I feel my goals for the company are not being met. It doesn’t help that the grass is greener down the road, and job recruiters call my phone directly. I make a little under the median wage for my job in this part of the state. In spite of the fact that I periodically tell my wife I feel God has placed me here for good reasons, whatever they are, I am restless.
Then, another day comes where everyone seems on edge, and the boss is repeatedly critical. It just doesn’t make sense for me to stay here. I tell myself, I could do better. I toy around with updating my resume for the fourth time this year, but then I get a feeling of reluctance. Since I can’t simply put a finger on why I want to leave (knowing it’s not just a matter of money), I end up feeling self-critical, because I can’t make a firm decision, like others seem to be able to do. I can’t decide whether my reluctance is the voice of God or not.
Unexpectedly, I get a phone call from a major company about a half hour away from my new home. I am excited at first, and return the call and promise to send my resume by the following day. I go home excited, but by the next day, I’ve thought about some other things. I hardly have to travel for my current employer, which is a plus. I’m only twelve minutes from work, rarely stay late, and can easily get to Wednesday where I work with the youth. My job has very little stress, as I have quite a free hand to work on what I think needs to be done. I get a modest bonus and a pat on the back every year, which is more than some companies give. I’ve been able to promote the undervalued technician in the lab, and three people that I know have been able to get a job here with my recommendation. Because the supervisors show me respect, I’m able to shield the inspector from criticism while she learns her job, which is a step up from her previous jobs. I found out that the boss’s wife has had a difficult surgery, and she is having a bad week. I remember that one of my more negative co-workers told me his son is in trouble with the law. This same co-worker says that my help in the department lowers his stress level. One of my longest-time co-workers has been worried about death and wants to know more about my faith. One of the production managers feels comfortable confiding in me when he is stressed out because of work. On top of it all, I know I can make a difference, even if it’s not on my own timing. Finally, I look around at the new home I just moved into with my wife and consider that we were able to buy it on my “below average” wage. I let my thoughts drift over to the guy I once knew who was killed in the Middle East when he was single and twenty-five years old. That always leads to thoughts about my three married children and five grandkids who are always happy to see me.
I realize that I am not angry anymore.