A postmodern journey of faith...


Americans hate accountability.

Americans hate accountability. It's a fact. Point-in-case: tonight at work, I began to implement a new system designed to give accountability to the kids on our crew to be sure they do their work. Our goal is to raise our standard of customer service and help people do their jobs better. As things stand now, there is really no way to put the spotlight on those who work poorly, because everything just is thrown into a "big pot." It's the classic, "Somebody should do these things; anybody could do them, but nobody did." We're aiming to identify somebody, anybody, and nobody.

The system is simple: it's a list of tasks for each job area. The crew person will simply initial each task as it's completed. If their doing their jobs, it's really no big deal, except for one detail...

Did I mention that Americans hate accountability?

Yeah, there's the problem. Tonight was a "dry run;" it didn't matter, as I was only looking for help getting the list to a place where it is simple and concise. I approached three different employees, asking them for help. "Just go through the list as you do your tasks tonight and see if I missed anything or if anything is unclear. Leave some feedback on the paper if there's anything that needs changed."

One guy got out his cigarette lighter and was going to burn it.

Another person balked, told me that they were insulted, and then tried to get me to reassign the tasks on their list to other employees. (I wonder why they balked...hmmm...)

Ironically, the only person who didn't object is the person who had extra work added to his responsibilities. He was very agreeable. Of course, he's also in a position where his primary job may prevent him from completing the list--and that's just the way it is. There's nothing we can do to change that.

But I think the bottom line is this: people hate knowing somebody is watching. I know I do. Sometimes we avoid situations we should really be involved with because we don't want to feel "inspected." I think about my life--I don't want my pastor or my wife to know that I almost looked at some things online I shouldn't have last night. (No, it wasn't porn...but it was bad enough.) And if I tell them (of course, now I just told the world...), then I'll feel like they're looking over my shoulder every time I turn around. Of course, if they're looking over my shoulder, that probably means they are also watching my back. My honesty keeps me accountable--and that causes me to avoid stupid things because I know somebody's going to check me out.

My dad once said, "Locks keep honest people honest." Somebody who is going to do the wrong thing will do it, regardless of their situation. Accountability is like a lock; it helps protect us from ourselves.

An insomniac's dream...

I'm sitting here, up again. I should be sleeping.

A few updates are in order. A few weeks ago, I struggled with knowing how we were going to make it...money looked too tight. So, I "threw it up" and hoped for the best. I guess if I were being honest, I'd have to say that I really didn't expect any results.

I'm really glad that God doesn't cater to our expectations, aren't you?

So, about a week later, I received a call from my boss at Godfather's--offering me a significant promotion and increase in pay. So much so, that I could quit my other job and have just one place of employment for the first time in about three years! So, for the last week, I've been "officially" one of the full-time managers at Godfather's Pizza in Normal, IL. Sounds like it's not so great, but really, it is. Here's why:
- I'm enjoying it. (Can't put a price on that.)
- It's flexible.
- It's salary, so it's steady income.
- The owner, who is actively involved in the business, is a Christ-follower.
- His goal is to get me back into ministry.

(Ever feel like you've been set up???)

So, life is pretty good. My mood is better. I can relax at home now, which is significant. I left Office Depot, one of the biggest sources of stress in my life, and didn't look back. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful to have had the job when I needed it. But this situation is far, far better. Plus, I'm in the lead in an organization again, where I feel like I can really make a difference. It's the first time in a few years that I've been able to say that.

Other than that...

I've been asked by my pastor to:
a) travel as a sponsor to a youth retreat in Wisconsin in a few weeks.
b) accompany him to Anaheim, CA to the Vineyard National Conference.

Feeling good...and the picture is finally beginning to become clearer. And that feels good, too.

Thanks for the good stuff, Lord.