This I Believe

Jacob - Camillus, New York
Entered on January 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: respect

I was sitting in class the other day, thinking about the dead end jobs I have held. I have had many of them and there are some that I enjoyed and there were some that I could not help but look forward to quitting. Not long ago I was working at a warehouse and it was one of those dead end jobs where I was looking forward to my termination. It had long hours, low pay, and it was exhausting work. There was a crew of about eight guys on a normal night and everyone one of them would get a laugh out of sabotaging each others’ work and mocking each other with derogatory remarks. The best nights I had there were the ones that were silent and uneventful. Needless to say, the day that I quit was the best day I had on the job.

It may not be a new revelation, but I believe in treating people with respect and I expect the same in return. At these so-called dead end jobs, I worked hard most of the time, but I have never done anything remarkably rewarding; financially, emotionally, or mentally. I realized that the people around me eventually defined the time I have spent working for low wages. I don’t mind doing mindless work or hard work all that much, those are not factors that determine how I feel about the work I do. I have found that the people that I have even minimal contact with can leave me looking forward to the day. On the other hand, the basic interaction I have with a total stranger can leave me wishing I hadn’t gotten out of bed on a particular morning.

When someone greets me or just holds the door for that extra second, I am inclined to approach the day differently. The same goes for the people I see everyday. If I go to practice today or to work tonight, and know that someone is going to disrespect me, I might as well not even show up. It has become obvious to me that the thing I am doing is not always as important as the people I am with. The way in which people treat me has a trickle effect on what I do each day, and I understand that the way I treat others may have an affect on their quality of life as well.