Tuesday, March 30, 2010


One of my new favorite shows on tv is "Undercover Boss". I know it is "reality tv", so therefore parts of it have undoubtedly been contrived, but the idea that a major CEO would be willing to leave his family, stay in a "B Grade" motel and humble himself to the point of being "fired" by trying entry level jobs is pretty cool.

It's what America needs right now. We need to see that those people making 6 and 7 figure incomes are "real people". They may be skilled at running a major corporation, but there's a good chance they can't make a good cup of coffee at 7-11, or load a truck full of packages worth a darn. And, in light of that, they are exposed to people who are not only capable in those positions, but are very skilled. To watch a millionaire be "put in their place" would seem to be more gratifying, and yet, because of their very act of willingness to try this endeavor, you find yourself cheering for everyone.

I find myself cheering for the employees who take pride in their jobs. The delivery man from Russia who believes he's living the American dream. The single mom who was homeless a year ago, who takes such pride in washing the aquarium glass - and learning all of the other different jobs she can. The woman at 7-11 who keeps the coffee brewing, but more so, it is her personality and friendliness that accounts for that store's successful coffee sales.

Accomplishment. It can be in the form of taking a business into profit quarter after quarter, or feeling like you are contributing to society by performing your job to the best of your abilities - whatever it is. I think we've all seen the effects of what happens (particularly in men) when a person loses their job. A day or two of "taking a break" can be helpful, but eventually a person loses their self-worth - their mental state takes a nosedive. All because they don't believe they are contributing or living up to their potential. It's a powerful thing. And, it's a deceptive thing, because many of us would really like to keep that "break" going - and getting the motivation to "put yourself out there again" can be quite daunting.

In my own way, I feel like I've fallen into that slump. While I don't have a 9-5 job, I have plenty of rolls that fill my day and hopefully keep me feeling like I'm "contributing". But, I've been on a "break" with this latest spring vacation and it's left me feeling empty. We are under a deluge of gray skies and rain here in Oregon, I have my first real "cold" of the season (I think my right lymph node is going to explode), and I find myself just getting by. I want to lay on the couch endlessly, but I know that's helping no one and will lead to no more satisfaction than what I'm currently feeling.

So, in honor of all of those folks on "Undercover Boss" who are faithfully "contributing" day in and day out - I will strive to do my part. And, hopefully, as this week unfolds, I'll find myself getting back into the rhythm - breaking out of my self-centeredness - and making little bits of differences into the lives of people I'm blessed to be a part of.


sara said...

I love that show too!!!

take a little step....find someone you can do a small thing for...take coffee or a meal, something random or just sit down and pray for all your friends and family. As you take your thoughts off of you and on to others, it is amazing what it will do for your spirit!!

praying for you today!!!

Linda said...

hang in there stephanie! the sun's up there and it's coming out soon!!! love that show too. gives ya hope in worth ethics now a days too. and you're right, makes you think about how good a job you're doing even if you're not getting paid!

Anonymous said...

I struggle with measuring my own contribution, too. The job that really matters to me is being a mom, but the one that pays the bills (and keeps me away from the kids) seems like it doesn't matter at all. I often wonder just what God is thinking. Obviously, not what I am!! But his ways are perfect and mine are...well...severely flawed. I'll have to check out that show. I thought from the previews it may actually have a contribution of its own to make to society. I hope you feel better (in all respects) very soon! We did see the sun for a couple hours this morning, hurray!