What To Do When People Bug You at Work

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Romans 12:16

I remember in college, when I was studying to be part of the TV industry, reality TV was just taking off. A professor asked us, “Will this kind of programming go away or is it here to stay?” I couldn’t imagine watching someone else’s life, like little SIM characters (another throwback, children of the ‘90s!), would be of interest. The professor smiled knowingly. 

Now, decades later, a series of reality TV shows have taken over our TV. I’m into competition shows, where people get the chance to learn, grow, and surprise me. The European ones tend to be better (you know which one I’m talking about!) because the producers don’t prompt people to be negative about others. It seems silly to me in the American versions that contestants call each other out on faults and weaknesses, when ultimately, they are all being scrutinized by judges. 

We, by nature, classify what we see so that the world can make sense. Being able to identify what is in front of us began long before Carl Linneanus (18th century) created the taxonomy system. But when we take on an air of superiority among our peers it makes less sense to me. Makes for good dramatic TV.

Paul may not have been as big of a reality TV fan. He reminds us that conceit and harmony can’t reside together. Neither can being proud and being associated with those classified as “lower level.” Whatever standards you live by, God asks us to remove the classifications.

When it comes to your work and what you do on a daily basis, do you find yourself labeling others as competitors wrestling for the same prize or contenders on the same path? If we, as nonprofit workers, can “associate” with clients and those we serve, why would we turn colleagues into competitors? 

Perhaps it’s worth knowing more about the employee that looks too young to work, the one close to retirement, the one that everyone avoids in that department. What’s their family like, what’s their dream, and what kind of food do they like? (The last one gives me good Christmas gift ideas when I ask it.) And who knows, maybe there’s a TV reality show about that kind of food the both of you can enjoy together.

References:

Science Learning Hub. https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1438-classification-system Retrieved Nov. 27, 2022.

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© 2022, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.

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