I was loading my car with groceries the other day and overheard two men talking about the ridiculous hours they work just to afford life. As they were departing one said to the other, “hey, at least it’s a job”, and I shut my car door wanting to leap out of it and ask them, “but why is that okay”? Instead. I sped off and arrived home to hastily put my food in the fridge so I could furiously write my thoughts down in my journal. What has become of this world? Why is the average person just skating by? I have never been satisfied with filling space and have never kept a job with a routine schedule because I saw the long list of followers who fed the mindset of submission for recognition or validation from another in a higher position. I remember getting offered a job with the board of education when I was a new christian and barely 23 years old. When it required yearly coursework at my own expense without the guarantee of advancement in the workforce, I turned it down for the freedom of a waitress job. At least I could work hard and walk away from the place of business without having to bring home extra-curriculum. If I wanted to complain about being tired I had no one to blame but my eagerness to stash cash, which was faster and more lucrative than using my hard earned 4 year college degree. To me the value of spending my time as I wanted was worth the threat of not earning a paycheck with stability.
My dad never understood why I would risk money one day for the sake of earning twice that amount the next. Back then I wasn’t as humble, so when I was confronted by my friends who also took the safe road, I judged their lack of entrepreneurship as being dull and wrong. What I know now, is that they make up a majority of the population that become the backbone for decision making and necessary fulfillment of basic needs that other businesses rely on. However, I still hold onto the premise that I am just not cut out for punching the time clock. From my perspective, I can always hold onto my earnings for the rainy day if I am wise with saving it. Now I don’t always follow my own guidelines, but I do trust that Daddy God gives me faith for His provision.
I wish I could play nice with others and support the group think of big corporations and climbing the ladder, but it reminds me of the Cinderella complex I lived at home; always working hard to gain accolades, only to be shunned from joining everyone at the grand ball where a reward was sought. Maybe it is nurture that shapes the mindset of settling or rising above the circumstances, but I’m certainly aware that a spiritual battle is going on over every individuals destiny. I therefore, have learned to get by on nothing for the sake of creatively fueling my talents and utilizing my mind so when the money rolls in, I have the leisure and liberty to spend it on the excursions and adventures that feed my soul.
Unfortunately, but fortunately, five of my Southern years were barren and void of the lucrative businesses I owned and operated up North, and despite furthering my college credentials, all I did was accrue loans and major in frustration. The turnaround to my satisfaction in life happened once I left Savannah where I felt the poverty and ignorance of the land oppress every fiber of my being. From the hospitality industry that fed drinks to its staff trapping them in addictions, to the racism that spewed hate against my career advancement in the public schools because I was a white Yankee, I knew waitressing and teaching were jobs of drudgery that stole my joy. My escape to Atlanta freed me from a dead-end relationship to myself. I no longer wanted to slip into being expendable in education or the restaurant industry. It marked 23 years of yo-yoing between fast cash and cemented shoes stuck in fighting a system that didn’t want to be changed. I was making good money at night only to give it away by day on holistic remedies that couldn’t aide the aggravation of low pay among high crime in the hood.
So after launching private practice in IFS therapy as a practitioner I had set high goals for the next venture in my life, especially because Daddy prophesied a bright new future for His kids with the start of this new decade. The year 2020 was to be the kick off for my lucrative, sustainable aspirations of sowing into the lives of others and coupling Christianity with counseling. But then the “plandemic” was launched, a predicted financial armageddon that I foresaw in dreams as well as scripture. After a day or two of sheer anger at the revoking of my rights for the economy to tremble, I started seeing more confirmation of God’s provision for my health and finances in the atmosphere.
The first was that I had virtually no fear of getting the virus which was a long time in the making because I had suffered paralyzation after a polio and flu vaccine years prior. That physical set back changed my existence greatly and ensured that medicine nor vaccination against disease, could be aides in my well-being. The astounding victory in knowing that I was healed mentally from the fear of sickness, manifested when I was called three times in 2 days by acquaintances to offer me a job in spite of most Americans losing theirs. My clients were curtailing their visits because of the shelter in place that was mandated so I saw the light of heaven illuminating an opportunity, so I seized it.
On my interview I told a story about one of the preachers I knew who didn’t understand why he had to work at Home Depot until it became the training he needed to launch into full-time ministry. Since I had traveled and sat under Will Hart long before he and his wife even had children, I took this as a direct sign that I had something more to learn before escalating into the counseling world that I have had visions for. From my first day at the Home Depot, God’s hand has directed my temperance so I can gain grace and understanding for the time in which we live.
I haven’t liked the small beginnings of deeper understanding because with every new assignment, greater character is required and painstakingly established unless I surrender. As with everything, I came out of the gate in full force but quickly lost steam once I ran face first into my own wall of impatience. I truly loved the refreshing outlook this main stream hardware business gave me when being out on the front lines was at my own discretion if I wanted to wear a mask or not. Since I felt Daddy prepared me for protection, I opted for liberty from those restraints. But a deeper revelation slowly emerged as the same respect for choice concerning the virus crept into a realization that many people want choices to be made for them. Weeks passed, and I felt so restricted by those surrounding me at work who were just comfortable with the day in, day out mentality of job security, that I began to feel disconnected because I thought differently.
I realize that young students need work to pay for extra things outside of school, but I was so humbled by the average person who drove long distances, past other stores closer to them and yet came in to stand on concrete floors and place merchandise back on the shelf. In talking with the majority of my co-workers, they all mentioned, “hey, it’s a job”, yet none of them found joy in it outside of the camaraderie we gained with each other. In fact, I was so intrigued by this same type of personality shared by everyone, that I questioned every day why I was sent there? I didn’t talk, think or act like anyone in my service area, they all were the steady eddy types who foundationally did what was expected without question. I felt like I was in the twilight zone. And then it hit me, the guys in the parking lot at the grocery store were the same way. Why did it piss me off so much?
These people are tired and can’t find the energy outside of work to invest in much of anything else. Beyond the concrete floors and it killing our legs, many are retired from previous vocations and believe they have no other avenue for sustenance. The minimum wage isn’t enough to provide for a family and even though political statistics claimed in recent pre-pandemic past, that employment was up, nobody ever reports on the quality of life for those in these jobs. I had to wonder if that is all part of the plan, make people so oppressed that they risk their health, sleep and time for less money? If there are more people now in need of a job post-pandemic, won’t that add to the desperation of keeping the sub-par one you already have? This has to be apart of the conglomerate group-think because it is always the richest man on top being catered to while a slave mentality is suggested through loyalty. Think about it, if you have over 50% of the employees struggling to make ends meet, picking up overtime just to skate by while their bodies and mental state are breaking down, doesn’t that just create a greater divide between them and those who invest their time into entrepreneurial ventures?
I have seen, watched and heard the frustrations of half the help and none of them have the stamina after an 8 hr shift to plan greater goals of advancement outside of their “job” because their gumption is gone. In my own assessment of my attitude I have noticed that a minute over my scheduled time makes me angry and hostile because there is nothing prompting my motivation to help when it is never enough. In fact, we are so dumbed down to a time clock that if we miss punching in appropriately we have to go through more red tape just to get it excused, and it still might be denied. Talk about power trip, being the low man on the totem pole isn’t worth the beans in payment because not only is my time wittled away, it isn’t even compensated well. It is in this modus operandi that I question what it is all for.
Am I here to pray for the people I have grown fond of because I admire the longsuffering that they have but could never join? Should I keep my mouth shut and just be an encourager of the dreams they may have deep within themselves? Do I offer counseling to those who have confided in me about their struggles outside of work that they have no energy left over to eradicate? I could be thankful that I have a job and in many ways I am, but I can’t succumb to this position when time to prepare for the aftermath of the pandemic is stolen while on work premises. I’m more moved by employees longing to do the right thing, to keep their nose to the grindstone and to climb that supposed corporate ladder, than my ability to escape it. I find myself however, saddened that I have not been able to submit myself to such regulation outside of Daddy God placing me here. I wish I had it in me to say that I could commit for the long haul but I am only able to adhere by these rules for the assignment it is, a temporary one. Without having the ability to utilize my time for the investment of my dreams, I can’t get on board with giving it away to a job that steals from them. I think I am standing on the same initial reasons I turned down the prestige of working for the board of ed all those years ago, it seems my need for stability just isn’t my drive, and that’s okay for everyone.