You Are Not a Number



There has been a common theme lately that I have noticed. Lately, I have noticed that many people seem to treat other people like a number rather than a human being. I have noticed more and more companies treat people like a number. I have noticed hospitality and general good will dwindle. I don’t know if it is we the customer that have caused this or the companies. Did customers become so demanding and unbearable that it became unreasonable to give them the pickle or did companies get too greedy and cared more about profit then taking care of the customer and making sure that the customer will be retained? That may be too big of a question to answer, but there are smaller scenarios that I have seen that I think play into this epidemic because everything starts with individuals.
When I first got my job one of the first things I was told by another teacher was to not work too hard. That they were not paying us for the extra hours so that I should basically clock in and clock out and let that be that. When I heard that, I thought where is the sense of ownership? Pride? Shouldn’t one try to do one’s best regardless of the circumstances? I didn’t think that one should work tirelessly and run oneself down, but I did believe that I should always be prepared and take the time needed to set up the classroom before the kids show up every day regardless of the fact that we were only getting paid for the time that the kids were in the building because we all know a big part of teaching is setting up the environment. What I saw was a teacher with bitterness in her heart. She did not feel valued and as a result she resolved to just get a pay check and clock in and clock out. This was a teacher in only her second year of teaching and she already had this mindset. It doesn’t take that long to wear people down. When I saw that, I thought to myself I never want to be like that. That just does a disservice to our own hearts and souls as well as the kids. Where would the joy be? So I set up my own parameters of what I would be okay with doing that would not in the long run build up resentment. As I worked there over the years, I realized that management did not demonstrate that they cared for or valued their staff but I got that need from the parents and kids who did notice and appreciate what I did for them.  

Hearing that teacher speak the way she did taught me that I never want to be bitter. I don’t want to be unhappy and unsatisfied in my job. I don’t want to be someone who simply goes to collect a pay check. I think if we ever find ourselves at that point something needs to change. We can find a solution within the current place we are in. Maybe we just need a new perspective or to once in a while remind ourselves of what we have achieved so that we can continue to move forward. But if no matter what we have tried, the job is sucking the joy out of you then I think it is time to move on. It is not good for one’s health. It is not good for one’s relationships. The people that love us want us to live in joy and if we are not doing that then we are also probably sucking some of the joy out of our friendships and relationships. No job is worth this outcome.  I don’t want to see myself change into someone that I cannot be happy with. Yet, I see this all the time in jobs. Just recently, I had a problem that I needed to solve. The lady on the other line treated me in an unkindly manner and it almost seemed as she had lost her sense of humanity. I could not see how anyone could treat a human being that way so I gathered she did not see me as a human being but as a number- as a profit or loss.  I don’t want to be that kind of person. I want to love people and treat people with fairness and kindness to the best of my ability. Thus, I have vowed to never work with an organization that steals the joy and would allow me to become that type of person,  and I challenge you to do the same. 

June 5 2016
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