It’s A Holiday-Take it!
Labor Day is the official celebration of the United States labor classes and has been since 1894 when President Grover Cleveland declared it a federal holiday to recognize the country’s workers.
This last June, I retired from a terrific career in nursing where I spent over twenty years taking on challenges and opportunities proposed by other people: co-workers, unit managers, corporate managers, doctors, state surveyors, and of course my patients and their families. And I loved it. Maybe not every part of it, but any job can be both challenging and rewarding. It is this balance that gives an employee the motivation to keep on keeping on. To persevere. Or find another job where they can enjoy the give and take of their work.
Let me tell you a story:
Nurses and ancillary staff sat around a large conference table and chatted while waiting for the administrator. The chatter died down when Ms. Brumfield arrived and called the meeting to order.
With a stern face, she said, “I have good news and bad.” She paused. “The good news is our patient census is increased.” She looked around the table making eye contact with each member of the team. “The bad news is we are in a hiring freeze and each of you will take on the additional case load.”
The chatter started again and grew louder as disgruntled employees discussed the issues of having no help with the new patients.
A nurse raised her hand. “Will there be an increase in pay or at least a bonus?”
Ms. Brumfield raised her brows and slowly shook her head. “No, there will be no change in pay. And I remind you that your expected time frames to see patients and complete documentation will still be the same.”
At that, one of the nurses stood and blurted, “I feel like a Hebrew slave. You are expecting us to make more bricks without providing us with the straw to make them.”
Ms Brumfield responded by dismissing the team. As far as she was concerned, the meeting was over.
Just like this nurse said:
Pharoah had required the Old Testament Israelites to increase their production of bricks without the material to make them. Today, an expected increase in work without allowing increased time to accomplish it can make us feel like we are under the Egyptian Task Masters. Wherever you work, there are going to be times when there are issues with short staffing and increased expectations without increased pay or time to complete.
What are we to do?
Quit and go to another job with the same staffing issues? Stay and help the company and coworkers make it through the staffing crisis? Weigh the options and find your place. But first look at yourself. Do you wear too many hats? Do you know how to say, no? How to rest? The expectation of others can create a frantic rush that not only strains the body but wearies the mind and drains the spirit.
The Labor Day holiday is intended to give the laborer a day off to celebrate and to rest.
However, when we have holidays, vacation time or personal time off, do we take advantage of them. A lot of people don’t. Instead, they sign up to work overtime or fill their off time with projects or in extensive travel instead of resting. They then go back to work tired and frazzled.
DO you have a mindset of working 24/7/365?
As Donna Snow explains in her Bible study, PERSEVERE, A study of Nehemiah, when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they had a mindset of working 24/7/365. They had to learn to rest. Learn that it was okay to rest. He not only gave them permission to rest but made it a requirement. Keep the Sabbath day. He knows we need it. Do we? Donna points out that the Israelites had their worth tied up in how many bricks they could make in a day. God wanted them to know their value was not related to their work, but to His love. What do you base your value on?
“Come unto me all that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Rest is Essential
Essential to refresh, recharge, and prepare you to take on the next week of duties you’ve been given, as well as those you volunteer to take on. After retiring, I’ve had to learn to rest, to understand it is okay to not be frantically trying to meet the expectations of others. I wish I had learned that lesson before I retired.
How about you? Do you know how to rest? Don’t wait until you retire.
Please leave a comment or questions. I’d love to hear your stories.
Remember, wherever you are, you are at the right place when you come to my website and read my blog. Come on back and share a slice of life with me.
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I used to be able to relate with the story of the table of nurses. Once as a DSP (caregiver) in a group home when we were told that despite the extra care needs of client health no new staff would be added. Then when I became manager of the same home and we found ourselves with zero sub staff to call in when someone called out sick. No new sub staff as my home was hardest to hire for as it was as it was medical with a g-tube client and Alzheimer’s clients who tried to wander away daily. Being told no meant one thing. If a staff called in I as manager covered the shift. and still do my own job. There was a time I was on duty for 24 hrs straight and that still did not change things. I was also on call 24/7/365. God stepped in and through various circumstances in 2 years time I retired early due to medical health issues of my own. I agree with the statement of feeling like the Hebrew slaves.
Teresa, Thanks for your comment. I love to hear from readers. I am glad you could relate to the story of Egyptian Slaves.
I too, have worn the hat of manager on call day and night 365. It is stressful even if you don’t’ get a call. Add that to times when you have to work in place of those who call in sick and you still must keep up with expected reports and management work. Whew! However, working alongside other staff always helped me appreciate the work they do, and reminded me of when I worked directly with patients. It kept my skills sharpened and is also an opportunity to gain staff’s respect.
I tried to remind myself this was the life I had chosen and knowing that helped.
Congratulations on your retirement. Hope you get to enjoy it and don’t forget to rest.