Ok, so the entire morning wasn't frustrating, but part of it was. I woke up early so I could get to work on time, since I was opening and covering for another co-worker. I began to set up shop and go through the process of preparing the store for the day and the employee I was working with shows up, which was fabulous because at that point there was the two of us who were working.
So then another employee shows up, but I didn't know if he was working because he wasn't wearing his work shirt... yet. So, I find out that he's working. Awesome! I thought. Three of us in the store would make time pass by fast. Then I heard the third-arriving-employee comment about covering for another co-worker. I asked for clarification. He and I were both covering for the same guy! This meant that one of us would have to clock out.
I began to feel selfish.
I began thinking all of these different thoughts, all of which were "I" statements, like, "I woke up extra early," or, "I commuted 50 miles," or even better, "I was here first!" Then it got worse. I started to take my frustration out on my fellow employee.
I began criticizing him.
I started naming all of the reasons, in my head, as to why he should leave. "He isn't dressed appropriately," or "he was late." The list went on. Then, I had to try to decide how to professionally address the matter to one of our superiors, and I had hoped that one of them could make the decision as to who would go home, because I didn't really want to have that awkward conversation. I knew it would be awkward because we had discussed in previous conversations, the importance of needed hours for income. And really, who doesn't need income - especially in this economy? So, I decided to go talk to one of our superiors and present the situation in a diplomatic manner, so as to address the issue that both of us faced and not just me.
I didn't want to...
I was reluctant to explain what had happened and I was reluctant to go back to my station and have the "who is going home" discussion. But I did, because I knew it was the right thing to do and the professional thing to do. We talked it over and came to a common conclusion that it was he who would stay today.
I tried to look on the bright side.
I started to consider the positives of the situation. It wasn't my fault. And, more importantly for the sake of my criticisms, it wasn't his fault. The responsibility for this mix up fell on the person who called us both and agreed to have us both work during that shift. I thought about what I could do during the time that I had off. I could go get breakfast. I could do some social networking for the E.A.U., and finally, I could get an actual post published to my blog. (Hooray!) I could see a friend on campus. I could actually read my e-mail and not just glean from the subject lines as to whether or not I should even look at them. Then, BAM! I was back into the mind-set of criticizing my fellow employee again, and the worst part was, it was something that I feared another person, friend, family, or stranger, doing to me.
I judged him.
I won't get into the details about why exactly I judged him, but what I will say is that in Utah, where the dominant religion is "mormonism" it is ironically far too easy to not be so "saint"-like. In the multicultural class that I took during the first block of summer semester we discussed the influences different aspects of culture, ideology, and society have on us as human beings trying to figure out who we are exactly. I realized that at this moment, I was taking stereotypical thoughts about people who are LDS in Utah's society, like me, and I was applying those thoughts to him and faulting him for what he had, or didn't have. As soon as I had said the words I said, I felt my the color rush up into my cheeks.
I wish I hadn't said it at all, let alone thought it.
Who was I to know about what his life is like?
I thought about the things that I would hope that no one judged me for and realized that there was no reason why I should be judging him.
Anyway, I think that while this was an unfortunate even to occur, it was an important time to recognize that I can see what I did wrong and that I want to make my life be a better one and live it in a better way, so that I don't have these issues come up again in work or with my family and friends.
Are there any little social issues that you regret? Those little miss-communications that occur because of your mind being too set in your own gain? Tell me what you think.