In which I rant, mainly to myself, but feel free to listen in…

I want to rant but I’m not sure who to send this complaint to. So the world wide information highway will have to do. I think I’m mainly ranting at myself but if you’ve ever had thoughts like this then I’m ranting at YOU. Got that? Good.

 

 

I’m a little frustrated at the low opinion lots of people seem to have about administration.

I even want to apologise for mentioning that word for fear I will have sent half of you to sleep. I’ve heard it laughed about in so many circles, in the Christian ones I mingle in it’s sometimes shrugged off as ‘I haven’t got the gift of administration…’, I’ve heard that used so many times as an excuse for laziness and disorganisation. As if God never made order out of chaos, yes people, he was administering the universe into being when he made it.

 

I don’t like the way that jobs are generally sliced up between doing admin and then the more glamorous hanging out with actual people and doing real things. Lots of admin jobs are paid less, are seen as the first rung in the ladder up to real success and are seen as the thing to escape from. eg: “Oh you’re still doing an admin job?” I’m frustrated with the view that says there are two kinds of people, admin ones and people people, the view which says I’ll be frustrated if I sit behind a desk 3 days a week because I’ll want to be out doing ‘real’ work with people.

I’m most of all frustrated with myself for buying into this way of thinking. I’m pretty good at organisation, I like ordering things, I could organise the proverbial party in a place that makes beer, but guess what, I’m also good with people, I love walking with others through life, I love seeing if people are ok, I love deep chats and am pretty good at helping others along this journey.  Good administration requires excellent people skills, good people work requires good organisational and administration skills (otherwise you’d never meet up with anyone to actually care for them).  I’m ranting mostly at myself because 3 years in an admin job feels like failure. But why? I feel like I’ve failed to use my people skills, feel like I’m destined to sort out spreadsheets forever and I believe the big fat lie that there is no dignity in this work, that there is no reality in this kind of work.

I’m tired of thinking these things, I want it to be ok to have a job at a desk organising stuff in a helpful manner and I don’t want to be labelled as not good with people as a result or sad because I think I’ve missed my real calling in life.
Oh how often I buy into the stupid lie that a job title defines who I am, makes me worth something and tells everyone about myself.  The value of a life isn’t tied into the job we do, let me repeat that loudly and clearly. The value of my life and yours isn’t reflected in our job title, lack of job or job that we’re frustrated in.

We are human beings beautifully created in the image of our Maker, widely creative, joyously diverse, wonderfully intricate and each moment in life is laden with opportunities to reflect that or not. Our personalities are wider than our job description and we can use our gifts, skills and abilities in the whole of life, if they aren’t being used in a job that doesn’t make them redundant. Someone please tell me this over and over and over again until the glorious freedom of it sinks in.

 

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9 Responses to In which I rant, mainly to myself, but feel free to listen in…

  1. Phil says:

    Kath – please read this – http://www.thelongwalkhome.co.uk/?p=2035 – I think you’ll find it helpful… 😉

  2. Karen says:

    When did you read my mind?? Thank you for saying exactly what i needed to hear, praise God that this is truth.

  3. Cat says:

    Administrators are so important! The church would die without them and their ministry wouldnt be as effective. As someone who is helping to organise a mission week for a CU, it is vital that we have someone organised, otherwise it will all go down the drain because everything will be done last min… eekkk…

    Good rant. But don’t let people define you – your identity is in Christ and he has give you this wonderful gift that anchors many ministries and churches :)!

  4. Chris B says:

    My gifts, skills and talents haven’t been used in a job (if you define that as paid employment) in the last ten years. There is nothing that annoys me as much as being called a lady of leisure. Thank God he uses us in a variety of ways, in a variety of settings.
    And I love your comment about “I don’t have the gift of administration” as a cover for idleness. As an extravert, I love being out there with people, whatever the reason. But I can do that knowing that I’m up to date with my other responsibilities. I’m far from a perfectionist, but I find it hard to cope with the chaos that says “But I can find anything I need” in what looks like the office equivalent of squalor.
    I think good organisation is a springboard for good work – and we need to be good team players to make that possible, while working on the things we struggle with – and finding ways to encourage others, not put them down.

    • Kath says:

      Thanks Chris- you are so right- we really do need each other in this life eh! And I’m so thankful that there are so many ways of living well in this world that don’t involve a full time job with a nice label on it 🙂

  5. Tanya Marlow says:

    Belated comment but wanted to give you a yes yes and amen! I think the problem is particularly acute in Christian ministry where there seems to be a culture of outdoing one another in ‘lack-of-admin-giftedness’ for fear of being labelled as an ‘admin person’ rather than ‘ministry person’. What funny people Christians are!!

  6. Circus Queen says:

    This speaks right into my situation. I can’t tell you how many times recently I’ve been down because I don’t have a “career”. It’s bad enough that society undervalues what I’m doing without me doing it too. Thanks for the reality check about where my identity lies.

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