Is the pressure your company is feeling rolling down to your boss? Is your boss opening the dam and allowing a waterfall of his/her stress to drown you and other co-workers? This happens a lot in normal times, but more recently, the problem is becoming pervasive. When our boss or peers feel pressure at work the result is bad (or erratic) moods, unreasonable deadlines, micro-management, and in some cases, plain old bullying.
But what can you do if you need a job? I have personally experienced this situation and I have personally tried to contain my own waterfall in the past. It is hard, but there are some things we can do.
1. Remember that whoever is dishing out the discomfort is under stress too. They are probably receiving someone else’s pressure and they may not have the character to be a buffer to their troops. I always looked for opportunities to empathize or even thank my boss when he slipped and did the right thing or provided a momentary buffer. There will be moments, although for some infrequent, for you to sincerely show appreciation. Like if a deadline is extended or when your boss offers words of comfort because someone else is being a bigger jerk than he.
2. Do the best job you can. You are not here for other people. You are here because you need a job, you like your job, or it is a stepping stone. Anyway you look at it you have taken the job for you. Don’t shortcut because someone else doesn’t deserve your best work. Don’t be bitter because you are not appreciated. Yes the company needs your work, but you are not a volunteer. They are paying you. So focus attention on doing your work for God’s glory. He is the only one that we are here to please and He wants us to do everything for Him. Give God thanks that you still have a job (that for some reason you need) and ask Him to give you strength each day to do your very best.
3. Heap burning coals on their head. In Romans 12:20 Paul tells us to repay our enemies with good things. Have you ever been in a grocery line or fast food line where the person checking you out was just in the worst mood ever? Have you ever just killed them with kindness and seen their aura change right before your eyes. They are humbled as they back out of their grumbling and reestablish eye contact. Many times it will have actually made their day! It is human nature for us to respond harshly to harshness, but it is much more effective to throw a little sincere kindness back. Try that with a co-worker or boss and see if they begin to treat you a little bit different than everyone else. Even if they don’t, it is still the right thing to do.
Whatever you do, fight back. Don’t become one of them! You know what you think of the pass-through vessels of unfiltered stress. Block the dam and become the buffer for at least one other person.
Please reply with other suggestions to share!