By Wang Min, China
When our bosses give us extra tasks but do not give us a raise, some people may say arrogantly, “I’ll quit the job and find a better job somewhere else.” I also used to think this way. But here is the thing: How can we be sure that our next job will be in line with our desires? Under the guidance of God’s words, I have found a great solution to this problem and changed my attitude toward my work.
When I was interviewed for a job at a take-out restaurant, the boss said my only task would be to prepare the ingredients for the next day and that I could rest as long as I got that done. She also said because the weather was very hot, I could come in 30 minutes later for the sake of my health. Hearing this, I was very satisfied with this job because it was both cushy and fairly-paid, and so I decided to take it.
The first few days after I started working there, my daily job was to prepare the ingredients, do the cleaning and wash the dishes. During the break, my boss would share with me fruit and ask with concern if I was tired, and at the end of the day she would tell me to be careful on my way home. All this made me feel very comfortable working here.
One day a week later, however, seeing me taking a break there, my boss urged me, “Wang, don’t just sit there. Go get the takeout boxes and stick our cards on them, and then prepare the seasoning we’re gonna need….”
I was a bit unwilling and grumbled in my heart, “You are so selfish! You just can’t bear to see me idling for even a little while. I only receive a small wage but have to work all the time.” But when I thought of how my boss usually treated me well, I didn’t argue with her.
But to my surprise, my boss didn’t stop there. A few days later, she assigned another task to me and asked me to work in a two-square-meter room where there was a caldron used for making soup and a wok for frying the ingredients, and right next to it was the kitchen where we made soup and cooked rice noodles, and it was always full of steam. Therefore, whether when I was chopping the vegetables, frying the ingredients, or doing the dishes, I would sweat a lot and have to stop from time to time to brush sweat from my forehead and nose. I felt somewhat unhappy and thought: “When I was interviewed, you said my only job was to prepare the ingredients for the next day, and didn’t tell me that I had to do so much work. But now you ask me to do everything—you really are untrustworthy! At first, I thought I reaped great benefits by finding such a cushy job, and now I know it isn’t a good job at all. It’s so hot here, and you ask me to do all the work. It is a good deal to you, but I am the one who loses out.” The more I thought about it, the more I felt it unfair. But then I thought: “I am a believer in God, so I shouldn’t quibble with my boss over these trivial things. Besides, it’s not easy to find a job, and there is no guarantee that my next job will be better than this.” Therefore, I decided to bite the bullet and continue working there.
One day, I was working bathed with sweat when my boss said to me, “Wang, starting today, you’re responsible for getting the residues out of the soup.” This new assignment from my boss made me feel discontent. I thought: “I am already doing more jobs than in probation period, but now you are asking me to take out the residues. No wonder you treated me so well when I first started—it was because you were afraid I wouldn’t do these things. At that time, I was so glad that I had such a wonderful boss and a job. I didn’t see this coming—I’m getting more and more work.” I thought as I was spooning out the residues, feeling very awful.
At that time, I heard my boss, who was cooking rice noodles next door, complaining, “I’m sweating like a pig.” What she said made me even more dissatisfied with her and I didn’t want to pay her any mind. Boiling with anger, I thought: “Even you feel hot—what about me? You can go out to cool off and rest when there are no customers in the restaurant, but I had hardly got off my feet when you would ask me to do this or that. You just can’t bear to see me idling.” At this thought, I deliberately dumped the residues into the basin with force to make a loud sound so as to vent my dissatisfaction. As I thought of how my boss gave me extra tasks but didn’t give me a raise and how I was losing out by working so hard, resentment kept building up in my heart. To avoid wearing myself out, I deliberately slowed down the movements of my hands. I knew well that there was lots of work to do, but when I thought of how much I had done, I didn’t take the initiative to take care of it, as if this would make me feel better. Normally, I seldom talked to my boss. Working in this kind of environment made me so exhausted and depressed.
I was very worried that my boss would give me more assignments, but this just happened. Later, she asked me to process the river snails with a machine. My mouth replied “OK,” but my heart was in great turmoil, “You’ve gone too far! If you had told me in the beginning that I had to do so much work, I wouldn’t have taken this job. I’ve worked here for half a month, and if I quit now, I won’t be able to get my salary and that will be an even greater loss to me.” I found myself caught in a dilemma. Because of the increased workload, I usually got off 20 minutes later than I was supposed to. The more I thought about this, the angrier I became, and I decided that if my boss gave me any extra task again, I would have it out with her. As the sound of the machine processing the snails kept coming into my ears, I realized that my way of thinking was not in line with the Lord’s will, so I constantly called out to the Lord in my heart, “O Lord! I can’t triumph over sin. Please protect my heart so that I won’t do anything that brings shame to Your name.” After the prayer, these words of the Lord appeared in my mind, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord” (Matthew 10:24). God requires that we take our proper place and live out a normal humanity. She is my boss and I am her employee, so I should obey her arrangements. As I thought of this, my heart gradually calmed down. I wiped away the sweat and continued processing the snails.
At night, I again brought everything that had happened before the Lord and prayed, “O Lord! My boss sets me an extra task every few days and I’m really unhappy about it. O Lord, I don’t know what lessons I should learn in this matter. Please enlighten and lead me.” After the prayer, a thought flashed into my mind, “Don’t quibble over insignificant things.” I then saw the Bible say, “Knowing that whatever good thing any man does, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free” (Ephesians 6:8). I came to understand that every good deed we have done is known to the Lord and that God will reward each of us, be we the servants or the masters, according to our own deeds. Thinking of how I haggled over every little thing at work and how I only cared about my own interests, I felt I really was so selfish and despicable. At the beginning when I didn’t have much work to do and my boss also cared about me and even cut down on my work hours, I felt pleased and thought she was so good because my flesh suffered little, but when she constantly assigned new work to me and had me work longer hours without giving me a raise, I felt I was losing out because my flesh suffered a lot. I therefore thought she was too selfish and became so dissatisfied with her that I didn’t even want to talk to her. Besides, in order to suffer less, I deliberately lingered over my work. What I thought and did was completely for the sake of my own interests. Because I always hoped to suffer less and gain more, I was unwilling to do even a little more work. I was so selfish and despicable that I was always calculating losses and gains and living only for my own personal interests. Did I have any likeness of a believer in the Lord? At this thought, I felt very remorseful for what I’d done. As a believer in the Lord, I should do everything in front of the Lord, and even if I suffered a loss, it was good as long as I could satisfy the Lord. So I made a prayer to the Lord, asking Him to give me strength to forsake my flesh so that I could let go of my fleshly interests, think more about others and live out normal humanity.
One day, my boss again assigned me a new task—ladling out the hot soup from the caldron every day. Hearing this, I felt a little uncomfortable, thinking: The caldron of soup is hot and heavy and it’s hard to carry…. Just then, I suddenly realized that I was again being choosy with my work, so I silently prayed to the Lord for His help. Gradually, my heart calmed down and I readily accepted my boss’ assignment.
Afterward, I took the initiative to do all the extra work and also began to talk to my boss, interacting with her normally. The amazing thing is, although I did more work than at the beginning, I didn’t feel tired at all and my heart felt very relaxed. That’s when I came to know that my exhaustion and suffering was not caused by my doing a lot of work, but by my bickering over every little bit of my interests every day.
Unexpectedly, when I changed my frame of mind, my boss said to me, “From next month, we’ll give you a raise of 200 yuan.”
Through this experience, I appreciated that living by my selfish corrupt disposition and bickering over every little bit of my interests could only made me more and more tired, while when I let go of my own interests and did things facing the Lord, what I gained was relaxation and joy in spirit as well as blessings from the Lord. Thanks be to the Lord!