WE’VE ALL EXPERIENCED GOOD AND BAD CO-WORKERS, RIGHT?
You usually know the good ones right away. They are the type who are pulling in the same direction toward the same goal while encouraging and uplifting those around them. They may bring snacks, coffee, and even (if the day calls for it) mimosas. They are good listeners, doers rather than talkers, and they push you to produce the best product you can.
Then there are those types of co-workers who are perhaps, nicely putting it, less than ideal. Perhaps they ruthlessly compete, discourage, tear down, and skillfully make everything about themselves. They usually are the ones who steal coffee, tattle, stir up conflict, and, worst of all, take the last donut.
Thinking about these two types, it’s easy to identify who in your life falls into which category. And I think it’s safe to say, no matter what profession you find yourself in today, the type of co-workers you have can make or break your day-to-day when you’re in the thick of work and life.
A few weeks back, I found myself running on fumes when it came to all my responsibilities and roles. I felt like I was on a treadmill on maximum speed, but at the end of the day, I looked to see where I had gotten. To my dismay, it was like I hadn’t budged. I was still in the same spot, cleaning up the same mess, wearing the exact same outfit. And, for Pete’s sake, I had the same stain on my shirt.
So, I took a break. I ventured away from everything for 24 hours to regroup, refocus, rehydrate, and, of course, to sleep. Lucky for me, a couple of my co-workers (fellow mothers) joined me for this proverbial 24-hour coffee break, and by the end, we were ready to return to all our given roles and responsibilities with renewed energy, vigor, and stainless shirts, to boot.
Why were we so refreshed? So reinvigorated? So encouraged? It wasn’t like we sat on a beach with rock-hard abs downing frozen beverages for 14 days with nary a whisper of stress in our sails.
No. In fact, it was cold outside, and we just sat in a restaurant for hours upon hours listening to one another, telling each other our fears in how we may be messing up our children, asking for advice, laughing that God found us worthy to put us in charge of several humans between us. There was not a hint of mom-petition (yes, it’s a thing), or discouraging words, or a trace of insincerity.
It was simply a 24-hour retreat of fellow co-workers that allowed us to gently point each other back toward the goal and remind one another who we really are: Dearly beloved children ourselves who have infinite possibility and worth.
Being reminded and remembering who we are is sometimes the only type of refreshment and reenergizing we will ever need.
One of the women relayed a story in our marathon conversation in that it was revealed to her that the root of most all conflict today is just that: Perhaps, just perhaps, we’ve all merely forgotten who we are. We’ve forgotten our place in this world; our intrinsic precious value. When that happens, it’s easier for us to look at others and do the same. That is, forget who they really are, their intrinsic value. And ultimately we end up just being the donut-stealing bad co-worker to everyone around us.
It’s February now. The temps are still obnoxiously low. But, regardless, this is the season and month of demonstrating our love to people. Maybe you too can steal away with your co-workers in life for 24 hours. Maybe you can’t. Maybe you can take whoever are your co-workers in life out for pizza. Whatever you do, listen to them, and remind them who they are. It might just be the refreshment and nourishment they need. Lord knows, it was for me.
Follow Tracy on her blog, littleparentontheprairie.com