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Tale of Two Workers
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Photo: MorgueFile
Greg (not his real name) was a well paid, middle aged manager in a large California manufacturing plant where I once worked. Lytle (his real name) is an older food service worker who makes a modest salary working for a school in Arizona.

Greg was a popular department head with a large and faithful staff who worked under him. It was indeed a painful day for those loyal workers when their leader was summarily fired for stealing from the company.

The plant reeled as a traumatic shock wave reverberated down the shiny, green corridors and into the decorated cubes we called home from 9 – 5. Greg, as it turned out, had been charging personal items for himself and his family on the company VISA card. In addition, he had been pilfering flowers and shrubs meant for the company landscape. Instead of having them planted (which was part of his job) he loaded them into the bed of his pickup truck, drove them to his home and rooted them in his yard. He left the company in disgrace.

Lytle humbly makes the 26 mile round trip, on his bicycle, from his home to the high school cafeteria where he works each day. Last month on his way home from work, Lytle had a flat, his back tire warped and his breaks were ruined.

Considering that he doesn’t own a car, it would have been understandable if Lytle had called off work the next day. Instead, this faithful employee walked to work in the cold and the dark beginning his 5 ½ hour trek at 2 a.m. and arriving at the school at 7:20 a.m., ten minutes early for his shift!

His Sodexho food service manager was totally amazed at Lytle’s dedication to his job. So much so, that that very morning he and his assistant went out and bought him a brand, new Schwinn bike!

Choices

Although these two stories are extremes, they point out the choices each of us face daily in our interaction with our employers. 
  • Will we be faithful to do what is right? Or, will we justify and rationalize less than exemplary behavior?
     
  • Will we arrive on time?
     
  • Will we put in a good days work?
     
  • Will we take an extended lunch hour?
     
  • Will we sneak home early?
     
  • Will we eat food we haven’t paid for?
     
  • Will we stash a few pens or pads of post it notes in our purse?
     
  • Will we carry on long phone conversations on company time?
     
  • Will we surf the web for our own personal enjoyment while pretending to be working?
     
  • Will we pad our expense report?
     
  • Will we exaggerate our mileage?
     
  • Will we continually bad mouth our employer behind their back?
The list is endless. But each day we have the opportunity to choose the right in all the little things, so that when larger decisions come our way, we will out of habit travel down the right road.

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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